the other side of the world, part 3: the other side of the world.

here’s some stuff i almost posted on friday but then ran out of steam…and then almost posted on saturday and then ran out of steam. i took a nap and now here it is.

———————————————————–

Well the other side of the world
Is not so far away as I thought that it was
As I thought that it was so far away
But the other side of the world
Is not so far away
And the distance just dissolves into the love
Into the love

And the New Jerusalem won’t be as easy to build
As I hoped it would be
As I hoped it would be easy to build
But the New Jerusalem won’t be so easy to build
There’s many bellies to fill and many hearts to free
Got to set them free

But I see a people who’ve learned to walk in faith
With mercy in their hearts
And glory on their faces
And I can see the people
And I pray it won’t be long
Until Your kingdom comes

And I know that the gates of hell
Are not prone to prevail
As I thought that they were
As I once thought they were prone to prevail
But I know that the gates of Hell
They have been destined to fail
I see Satan impaled on the sword of the Word
On the sword of the Word

And I see the people who have learned to walk in faith
With mercy in their hearts
And glory on their faces
And I can see the people
And I pray it won’t be long
Until Your kingdom comes

-Rich Mullins

Today I got to see some of the big sites around the city a with Aziz and Donna and Rachel playing tour guide. She remembers a lot of little facts (like me) and did a pretty excellent job. We were out for a few hours. We started by seeing the Colosseum, which was large, and by poking our heads into the forum. You can pay to walk around down there, which I will certainly do at some point, but it costs money and you can just stand on the side walk and see down into the expanse of it. Really impressive. This was the ancient city center of Rome and it has gone through centuries of destruction and rebuilding. Many of the buildings still standing has arches stopped up to make walls and different levels of doors and various other strange quirks. See it all excavated was like looking at the artful architecture of a mad man obsessed with brick. It was just amazing how things were piled upon each other to make new buildings. Crazy. We went to the Pantheon as well, which was ridiculous. A giant circular building built almost 2000 years ago with a domed ceiling with a large hole in the center of the dome. And yes, when it rains the inside gets wet. This place was massive! It was a monument to all gods (hence the name pantheon; if you know your Greek it makes sense), but is now used as a Catholic church. Great how Christians take pagan things and use them for better purposes. This also makes it the oldest consistently used building in the city. The hole at the top of the dome is somewhat of an architectural marvel. Rachel said that it took 1500 years of people wondering how they made that before they finally reproduced such a design. Which then triggered the Renaissance. I will have to go back to these places.

Before this Tim, Lindsey, Donna, and I (Aziz was getting things sorted out with the Indian embassy) went and saw another piece of property that they are looking at for opening a center of sorts for the refugees. This was owned by an old Italian professor who, years ago, had tried to open a grocery store and failed. The space was a weird one, not really suited for the purposes, but really cool nonetheless. It was all old brick arches and ceilings, built in the 1700’s as a hang out for Cardinals. The dude poured a lot of money in the place, fixing it up, cleaning it up, and making walls where there were none. Looked great. And so much history! We shall see what happens, if this is the place for the center. I think it is also pretty dang expensive; just a couple blocks away from a main tourist street. So we shall see.

Before any of this the five of us went to a Scottish church and helped pass out lunches packed by volunteers at the church. I want to help with that sometime and always. This was the first of the big things we do to meet refugees. It was good. We hung out with a few of them afterwards. One man had Italian documents and travel papers and everything; he was set, basically. But of course he couldn’t find a job anywhere. He has tried many times to go to other countries and get his papers there, but then of course they see he is already got all that in Italy and send him back. But if he didn’t try and apply again he could live and work in that country! But he didn’t want to be attached to Italy (I can’t blame him) and so here he is again….in Italy. Neat. Handing out lunches is so small, but it is something, I suppose.

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One Response to the other side of the world, part 3: the other side of the world.

  1. Skip says:

    All that history, so little time! Living conditions are terrible, but your friends and the help you can do the refugees makes everything perfect. I can see tremendous growth in you, Robb — I’m proud!

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