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Waiting for statues to start singing.

by JohnBigJohn on April 30, 2013   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

One of my only adventures I have been on was when I spent a month in Italy about ten years ago.

On one particular rainy day I found myself in Assisi. Which is an amazing old town that was built into the side of hill. By the end of the day I was in a very ancient church there that is in the middle of the town. It had a dirt floor and cracked ceilings with beautiful and complex mosaics of saints painted into the sides of the cracking walls. The church was only illuminated by the natural light that would squeeze it's way through the stained glass or by the candles that they had scattered about throughout the sacred space.

But then I found myself distracted by a commotion...

Up in front near the altar was a group of senior citizens (including a priest) that were having a picnic in one of the pews. They had a spread of wine and cheese and were laughing and carrying on with each other. I was outraged! How could they be carrying on in such a holy and profoundly spiritual place??

The priest who had been sitting with them must have noticed my pissy American look on my face and welcomed me over. He said "Why don't join us?" When I asked what the occasion for this gathering was he just plainly said "We are waiting for the statues to come to life and start singing to us again. Like they did when we were children here. We have seen things happen in here that cannot be explained. This church isn't a library - it's a place to celebrate miracles."

I didn't join them because I was an asshole who thought they were nuts. I didn't understand that they had it right. Life is about being open and present to miracles. The problem is my faith in things that I cannot see. What if right after I stomped out of that church that those statues all came to life and started singing in unison? I wish I would have had the courage and the open-mindedness to have maybe to have witnessed a miracle.

Now I spend my days wandering around in my life looking for my own statues to start singing.


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