My one great regret in Florence occurred at the end of Sunday, walking back to our hotel after a long day on our feet. It was growing dark, and singing was wafting from a recessed doorway. Suddenly Theo realized the tune was familiar. I stopped dead, recognizing an often-sung praise tune. Oh joy! Brothers and sisters in Christ, worshiping here, in Italy! I know this should not be a surprise to me, but I wasn’t looking for it here, in this non-descript stone building. My legs almost carried me up the dark stairs to the low light inside, but my tired guys had only paused. I was torn, knowing I would not be unwelcome in that body even if none spoke English (highly unlikely from my experience), but I followed my exhausted fellows. Only later did I realize that I could have gone in and let my traveling companions proceed without me. I really think I could have found my way back to the hotel myself. It is the one thing I did not do that haunts me. But what a reminder that the true Church is not these massive towers and domes of stone or brick. All of the houses of worship we visited house that Body; they are NOT that Body!
Any European city seems to be riddled with churches, most of notable beauty. Florence was no different.
Pretty much all the churches we saw charge to come in and look around, and considering the serious brand names of the contributing artists in the churches of Florence, I can see why. You have to pay for wear and tear after all that foot traffic somehow. But as a result, we only went in one…
I’ll save all my Basilica di SMN photos for another post. My favorite church we only stumbled upon accidentally, returning from our iffy bus ride, and never even got inside its gate. It was a tiny little Byzantine-style Orthodox church.
So next time, I’ll share with you our tour of the Basilica di SMN.