Friday, July 1, 2011

Wars do end - and what then we all wonder

The picture that comes up on my computer when I turn it on is of Christmas time, a season of remembrance when the Creator is said to have come into the world afresh. Annelie and I, with her cousin Inge, are standing on a wintery street in Wiesbaden. Inge, a beautiful souled woman, was in a group honored by the President of Germany a few years before her death. She had spent an adult life time working with refugees and displaced persons.

After the war Inge found herself in what became East Germany. One night she slipped away and successfully made the crossing into West Berlin. The British quickly flew her out to a safe house. You probably have heard such stories – maybe lived one. Old stories deserve their death; what so often has happened out of them, however, is often enough to affirm that pregnant statement in the creed, “I believe in the resurrection." In one dimension, there is a miraculous metaphor in the making of body, mind, and spirit. At least that has been a not infrequent observation of mine.

We loved to go hiking together. One of my favorite memories is a summer’s day walk in the wooded hills around Wiesbaden. Suddenly, we would come to a long open strip filled with chest high wild flowers. Along the strip would be scattered craters. It was a “free fire zone.” The American B-17s in their high precisions daylight raids, if one had bombs that did not fall, would turn over the wooded hills and make their drop in purposeful harmlessness. Then came that terrible attempt on that ball bearing factory and then there were no more daylight raids…
Now it was years after. The explosions had filled the earth with nitrates, even as the trees were blown apart. The Foxgloves were the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen, acres of them. We stood there in awe: a German, German-American, and an American.

Wars do end. Years pass. Sometimes, in some unforeseeable ways, the earth has been replenished in beauty, the people themselves somehow enriched, transformed. It is the gift of a good Creator, I believe.

Are there persons you know who would like to read this?

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