As a photographer, I travel to many cities and countries and always come back with pictures of people and places I want to share. This last trip to Rome was no exception. It didn’t disappoint.
Rome was more than I expected in terms of history, culture and photography. The whole city was like an archaeological site. Walking down the cobbled streets of the Roman Forum, I could easily imagine what life would have been like in the ancient world.
I’m back with many pictures of the Colosseum, St. Peter’s Square, Renaissance art, and the numerous buildings that Rome had to offer.
These historic places were great, but it caught my eye with pictures of people who lived their normal lives and practiced their religion. Their sincerity and dedication in the form of worship was very obvious when I photographed them.
There were many tourists in the Pantheon who were busy taking pictures and admiring the architecture. This man went straight in, knelt down, prayed, and left. For him, it was a spiritual place to worship and pray for his God.
The Pantheon is considered the temple of all gods. Looking at the man, I wondered which god he prayed to.
It also reminded me that I am grateful for what I know, for being loved, and for coming to love the only true God.
Then, in the beautiful church of St. Agnese, an elderly woman knelt down, meditated, read a booklet, and prayed for more than 30 minutes.
The church was beautiful, but many tourists were taking pictures and walking, so despite her solemn worship, I couldn’t help feeling empty and far away.
When I visited Skala Sancta, I felt like I was walking through the history of the Bible... In Italian, Scala Sancta means “holy staircase”. These staircases are popular pilgrimage sites for Christians as they are believed to have been brought to Rome in the 4th century by Jesus climbing on his way to Pilate.
From awe and dedication, people kneel and climb it in silence.
It was raining when we arrived at St. Peter’s Basilica. The crowd gathered to get a glimpse of Pope Francis. This woman had her phone in both hands to record the Pope giving a Christmas message on Christmas Day.
I photographed people of various religions, including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and Christians, in the form of pious worship. It may be a form of genuine and sincere worship, so I remember that without the right relationship with God through his son, Jesus, it could be a “sacrifice” that God rejects.
“… you don’t want sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sin offerings, and you don’t feel joy …” (Hebrews 10: 8)
People all over the world are enthusiastic about their religion. Let them find a true God and pray that their worship and dedication will be a pleasing scent for God. Your prayers, giving, going, and sending will help you share the truth with those who are looking for answers in the religions of the false world.
Editor’s Note — This story was originally written by Luke In and published by the International Mission Board.