a glimpse of germany

(This post was originally published on my personal blog, Of Postcards & Ink, between 2015-2016.)

Dear Germany,

Can I be honest with you? It was with begrudging reluctance that I afforded you a few days in my journey’s itinerary; my excitement stifled by naïve presumptions that quintessentially Bavarian lederhosen, sausages, beer and sauerkraut were all you had to offer.

You’ve proven me wrong though. Brilliantly and wonderfully wrong. You’ve invited me to walk through your forests, mountains and streets and to feel the weight of the history that runs through your rivers and through your veins. You’ve shown me kindness, hospitality and generosity. You’ve shown me the importance of remembering battles previously fought and wounds previously borne and the beauty and growth that can be found in the aftermath.

Bad-Petershal Greisbach, in your vastness, you’ve reminded me of the importance of perspective. In the face of the sheer magnitude of the Black Forest and the sky that soared above, I felt rightfully small. You ushered me into a place of contentment and humility, as I stood before your breadth and the Creator who surpasses it all.

Berlin, you are a city and a people that have seen, forgiven and remembered so much. While you forge ahead and bear the trappings of any great modern city, there are threads of your past woven in every step that you take. From the double brick line that runs through the streets to mark the wall that once so violently divided you, to the empty white-shelved room that rests below Humboldt University Square that stands testament to the countless Jewish words, dreams and stories that were once burned on the cobblestones above, you wear your scars with a mind of enduring memories and a heart of hope for the future.

Germany, I only gave you a few days, but you’ve given me so much more.

And for that, thank you.

With love,
Courtney

This war memorial is left open to the elements, so in winter or on rainy days, sheets of rain or snow will fall through this opening and surround the sculpture below.
This war memorial is left open to the elements, so in winter or on rainy days, sheets of rain or snow will fall through this opening and surround the sculpture below.

Humboldt University boasts of some impressive alumni, including Albert Einstein.
Humboldt University boasts of some impressive alumni, including Albert Einstein.
The cobblestones at the foot of this university also witnessed the infamous and tragic Nazi book-burning. Heinrich Heine once said that
The cobblestones at the foot of this university also witnessed the infamous and tragic Nazi book-burning. Heinrich Heine once soberly remarked that “where one burns books, one will soon burn people.”

This double brick line runs through the city, marking where the Berlin Wall once stood in its entirety.
This double brick line runs through the city, marking where the Berlin Wall once stood in its entirety.

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

The East Side Gallery is a 1.3km section of the Berlin Wall that’s been preserved as a place that embodies creative expression, freedom and memory.

For those who pray_smaller

A big thank you to those of you who have so graciously taken time to pray for me and especially to those of you who have shared with me how I can also be committing you to God! It’s been a real joy and privilege to be praying for you and to hear about how God has been answering those prayers.

Thank God for calming my anxious heart and holding me steadfast over the past week. As I’ve already shared with many of you, the first few days were particularly rough and for all the highs and moments of joy, there were probably an equal number of deep lows and moments of heartache and anxiety. Ever since my time in Berlin, however, I’ve been so amazed at how God has brought me out of those valleys and into a place of greater emotional stability and peace. There are definitely still lows and moments of sadness and weariness, but they’ve become much less frequent and intense. Please pray that He might continue to strengthen, protect and guide me in the weeks ahead.

Thank God for the seemingly little things – from keeping me in good health, helping me to eat healthily or enabling me to sleep well each night, I’ve been reminded of how all of these precious little graces come from His hand too.

Please pray for continued discipline in spending time with Him in His word and in desiring to turn to Him in prayer in all situations – not only in my quiet times, but in times of joy or loneliness throughout the day and all the moments in between. Please pray that I might find my contentment and joy in Him and the salvation that Christ has already won and secured for me.

I reached Psalm 8 (ESV) yesterday and let these words fill me with awe, as they have so many times before:

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
    Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
    to still the enemy and the avenger.

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
    and the son of man that you care for him?

Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
    and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

O Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

One thought on “a glimpse of germany

  1. Your writing is on point sister!! Must’ve been a humbling experience :) Glad God is settling your heart, keep finding your everything in Him! I am sure He will continue to uphold you! :D

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