I know that I am not yet writing about the Discipleship Training but I will get to that. I am in the moment and processing. It is Sunday morning – a day of praise. I’m onto my day by noon in a caffe-bar. What I notice is that my compadres are just as likely to order wine or a cocktail as caffe this time of day. Note that I am making these observations after a late breakfast and online worship from my home church. I just like being out and without a plan on a Sunday. So – I put color wash on some art paper and am drawing. I do wish I had more talent but I am in Florence so must try! I am writing this now as I await more inspiration. (I’ve started putting brown sugar (grainier) in a cappuccino. I don’t stir but it is like a sweet surprise at the end.)
I wanted to add one more thing about Italy for today. This week I saw a remarkable statue begun by Michelangelo when he was in ill health. The plan was to put in on his resting place. It has four people. Jesus, of course, because Michelangelo’s faith was strong. Nicodemus who is actually Michelangelo’s likeness, Mary, Jesus’ earthly mother, and an angel? I don’t remember but the incomplete statue has quite a story. At some point Michelangelo changed his mind and in a fit of despair broke part of the statue. The marble, he found, was flawed and needed to be perfect. The left leg was never carved but he broke Jesus left arm. Michelangelo lived for years beyond this project and another artist tried to repair it after Michelangelo passed. I will attach a photo below. Jesus likeness was not up to Michelangelo’s vision. Nicodemus and Mary are still roughed in but not fine-tuned. It is called Michelangelo’s “Bandini Pieta”, and I saw it in it’s restored state at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo where it was placed in 1981. His desire was to finally make a clear testimony of his faith in Jesus but was disappointed. Although the possibility of Nicodemus being at the cross cannot yet be known, the way Michelangelo has hooded himself, to fade into the background, is interesting to me. He is there but not really. He had worked on this from 1547 to 1555.
I am no genius but I understand wanting to be forever near Jesus and wanting this effort honoring Jesus to be his best. I also know frustration when all is confusing and disturbing. A good plan can go haywire. Something happens that is unexpected like flawed marble. My good intentions are misunderstood. I am excluded. I am unfairly criticized. I don’t know how to fix something. But I just wanted to carve something beautiful…I wanted to make the most of something i could not control. I want to learn my place going forward and don’t want to waste any time nor do I want to miss anything. I will be “carving” out this plan as soon as I am sure and ready as I wait on the Lord.