I left Cape Town on Wednesday to begin my 2 month journey. The first leg of my two-month trip will be spent in Germany. I flew from Cape Town to Johannesburg to Frankfurt to Bremen, and I spent most of my time, on the planes and in the airports, reading. I started and finished Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell, and started and made it half way through The Shack by William P. Young. Spending all that time with my nose in these books was wonderfully refreshing, and the choice of books seemed divine and somehow “meant to be” for this specific time and place in my life.
Rob Bell’s take on the Christian Faith was like a breath of fresh air in a spiritually suffocating season of life. His ideas of truth, his thoughts on heaven and hell on earth, and his take on the real meaning of peace were especially meaningful to me, speaking life to places in me that have felt dead. I love what he said about hope , “Ultimately our gift to the world around us is hope. Not blind hope that pretends everything is fine and refuses to acknowledge how things are. But the kind of hope that comes from staring pain and suffering right in the eyes and refusing to believe that this is all there is.” Powerful! A much needed reminder! Something I once knew but have maybe drifted away from in the past few years.
I was met at the Bremen airport by DJ Phax and Raoul, both working with the Each One Teach One Crew, and we loaded into a taxi and drove down the famous autobahn to the smaller city of Bremerhaven. The drive was wonderful and strange because so much of the landscape reminded me of the area I come from in Tennessee. My first glance at Germany was a delight, as I took in the modern european feel mixed with the history and beauty in the architecture . We went straight to a practice for a musical performance being put together by the Each One Teach One Crew, involving local students, a children’s choir, and myself. It was a great introduction to Germany.
After a long afternoon of rehearsal Anne (the leader of the EOTO Crew) and I returned back to her apartment: a true architectural work of art with enormous windows allowing breathtaking views of Bremerhaven. Adorned with many Eastern decorations and almost soaked in white, the apartment has a sacred and peaceful feel to it. I was thankful to be staying in such a sanctuary, and like the books, it seemed like just the right timing, something my soul was longing for without me even knowing it. The conversation before and during dinner again showed me that this is not a random series of happenings or coincidences, but I am indeed on a path, and though I may have only realized it now, I am on a spiritual journey of sorts; the books, the apartment, the people I am meeting, Bermerhaven itself…all parts of some sort of puzzle that is slowing being put together and revealing itself to me.
I do not know or understand the fullness of all of this right now so this may all come off as random, and a little “out there”, but just know that I am on some sort of adventure, I am enjoying myself, and I am learning new things about life and myself; things I was not necessarily searching for, or looking to learn at present. I am feeling a shift in my spirit, and it feels unexplainable but good. I belive I am in a new season of life and I am re-learning how to “stare pain and suffering in the eyes, refusing to believe that is all there is”. I am learning what it means to truly hope again, and it feels good. I am rediscovering the best version of myself and becoming re-acquainted with him. And though I did not expect this, and it seems to be happening from all sorts of random sources, in all sorts of random ways, I see that there is no randomness to all of this, and my path was planned out. I knew I was going on a journey, but this venture is bringing pleasant surprises with it, and it feels good. It is well with my soul.