This postcard has perched on my desk since returning from Italy this summer. The painting was one of many that stood out as I walked the rooms of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. I was immediately gripped by The Story displayed in Mariotto Albertinelli’s Visitazione (Visitation).
I love how Mary and Elizabeth stand nose to nose, eager to bear each other’s news. The elder cousin Elizabeth, stooping forward as the unborn John leapt within her womb, the Holy Spirit filling her with his presence. The weight of the angel’s message bears down upon the shoulders of Mary, the virgin. I see God’s provision of relationship, his care for the hearts of these women. This time together would serve to encourage and strengthen them for their journeys. I connect to this 15th century painting because it reminds me of specific times I have been brought nose to nose with a friend because of burdens too heavy to carry alone. It visually causes me to say “YES”, I so get what happened there.