I apologize for having to write about day two events on the morning of the third day. But yesterday was a very long and hard day both physically and emotionally. There is an eighties new wave band named Slow Children that sang a great song which has been stuck in my head for days titled “East Berlin By Rail”. And as I sit here by an open window feeling the cool German air wafting through this room and thinking about what to write of yesterday’s events, the song will probably be stuck there for quite a bit longer.
Our day began with an amazing session with a German pastor here named Kristoph. For time’s sake I’ll spare you the details. But suffice it to say that he is “the real deal”. He embodies everything that the American church lacks. The discussion we had with him was nothing short of life changing for me. And I’ll go into more detail on another blog post. Our trip into downtown Berlin through the train system is always an adventure. Rubbing shoulders with such an enigmatic people is like Forrest Gump’s “box of chocolates”. You never know what you are about to get. Encounters with a wheel chaired dwarf named Sven, a hardened man with karate supplies, various people with very Satanic body art, and curious Berliners who try to stealthily eavesdrop on our English conversations make the rides seem short.
East Berlin! I’m not sure what to write. I had always heard that it is the worst part of Berlin due to the fact that it is gray and ominous. My illusions were completely shattered yesterday. There are now only two cities in this world that I can say are utterly remarkable. Granted, I have been in some very interesting cities; London, Los Angeles, Paris, etc. But only Moscow and East Berlin had me walking the streets literally amazed at the beauty and strangeness. East Berlin is gorgeous, weird and wonderful, spiritually dead, unique, and a place I could see myself living. Now rebuilt, it is a haven for all the artsy types, socially lost people, and young success mongers. I’ll go into more details later and try to get lots of video up to YouTube today. The place where Ann Frank lived and was deported is nothing short of surprising. Yes, she is known for hiding in Holland. But few know that she was a Berliner before her famous exploits in the dairy. And ask us about the stumbling blocks embedded into the streets.
And I’ll also go into more details about our visit to the Holocaust Museum. All I can say is that I became so overwhelmed that I felt the need to run as far and as fast from that place as possible. Yes, I’ve seen all the movies on that subject. And yes I’ve been a little choked up with each viewing. But to somehow make that event personal is like getting hit in the heart with a bullet. This place makes it real because you now see these victims as real people with real lives. And yes, their energy and spirits still seem to cry out from beyond the graves for justice. Even now I start to tear up as I type this. So let’s move on.
The day’s expanded highlights including finding the best food on the planet in a local Mc Donald’s. See the video. And it ended with an unbelievably great time in Karl’s home church. I met Karl in America when he came here seeing the country. We became friends at Babe’s Chicken Restaurant in Carrollton. And we became brothers in arms last night in his living room. His home church is a group of Christians who are definitely situated right in the heart of the battle zone. One would never know that his modern home complete with stylish furniture and quaint garden is located in East Berlin about 400 yards from where the wall was. They needed encouragement. And God used us to supply it in abundance. And for that honor I am truly thankful. I must go. I promise I’ll write more tonight.
This trip seems like it has been a decade long. But this is only day three. Einstein was right about his theories on time.