Retracing Paul’s Footsteps in Rome

I was in Rome, Italy last week. The only Italian words I knew were the words for “girl parts” and “boy parts,” thanks to my sweet girlfriend, her Italian hubby, and their two children here in Reno. I must admit, those words did come in handy thanks to Michel Angelo’s fascination with the male anatomy. Any hoo hoo, all I can say is I’m glad most Italians know English because this Southern girl could only say, “Y’all know where the toilets are?” Because you see, there is no “restroom” only “toilets.”

Bathrooms, restrooms, potty…it’s universal…Even though the “flusher” is on the wall and not on the toilet itself. I couldn’t get used to that!

Now, to the good part…

I love sitting down with my Bible, placing my finger on a specific passage, and then being able to go see it, touch it, and experience it. For example, in Acts 28:13-15, Scripture talks about how the Apostle Paul walked along the Appian Way as a prisoner led into Rome. How fellow believers met him at the Three Taverns (see Acts 28:15) so they could walk with him. Later, I asked our driver about the Three Taverns as referenced in Acts. He looked at me like I had three heads. Although, after a little digging we learned the “Three Taverns” remains were located in someone’s residential garden. He shook his unbelieving head and said, “I don’t think they will allow you to perform an amateur excavation in their backyard.” But of course he said it with a really cool accent.

As we drove along the bumpy cobblestone road of the Appian Way, I asked the driver to stop. I wanted my feet to walk the same road, smell the same air, and experience a specific moment in time. Trees overhead seemed to tangle themselves in a moving canopy that shaded the smoldering pavement. A road carved in ancient truths from the second century A.D.

Who would have ever thought that a Jesus loving stay-at-home mamma would be tripping over her shoelaces on such an important walk through Biblical history…a woman forever changed because of what she saw. 

The more my eyes gazed over roads paved with centuries of secrets, the more enamored I became. The more I walked down the same cobblestone road as Paul (he in his sandals and I in my Nikes), the more the things of this earth faded away. This road was a spiritual marker for Paul. A marker which led to his ultimate fulfillment of God’s assignment…taking the Gospel to the Gentiles (me and you) ….and to the ends of the earth.

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