Something you do more than usual in the course of travelling from host to host is receiving meals around a diversity of tables. There does indeed seem to be something sacred in these sharings. We have enjoyed the hospitality of those not in the Christian family as well as those who have inspired us with their vision of exchanging generous love with all encountered humans recognising their intrinsic value whatever their world view or economic status.
One doesn’t usually anticipate a drive of 330 miles, (the leg from the Ardennes to Bavaria) with too much enthusiasm but it was good craic and only warranted one or two car seat shuffles. Do take note though that if you plan to buy lunch on the road, Germany closes at midday on Wednesdays. We eventually found food in an anonymous but pretty little place called Gemunden. It wasn’t anonymous in 1945 though for it was smashed to pieces during the allied advance. There are pictures of American troops standing amongst hits rubble on displays in the streets.
War is ugly for all sides and the horrors of ‘carpet bombing’ in Britain and throughout Germany give ample evidence of man’s inhumanity to man when licence to kill is given. It is hard to imagine now that the people we have met here and those who have served us in restaurants, petrol stations, shops and bars, each one affording us courtesy, friendly smiles, respect and cameraderie are part of a nation that in our parents lifetime was at war with one another and suffered on the killing fields and war torn landscapes of Europe. Every fibre in us strives for peace and reconciliation in a world still tearing itself apart with war. In a world where Britain alone has spent £37 billion (yes, that’s billion, not million!) on the war in Afghanistan. We can slash spending on health, welfare and education but find billions for war; madness!
It wasn’t long after our arrival in familiar Gefrees that Roy was having his talk on ‘Vulnerability’, ably translated into German by Andy Lang, our host. Translation meant that each of Roy’s jokes got two laughs which is probably why he finds it tolerable. Germans are so good at knowing English, and vibrant (translated) conversation ensued after a break for spicy stew.
Andy’s ‘Celtic’ music adventure continues to enthral sections of the local population and his fusion of mission and music continues to embed in the countryside around.
The venue which Andy and his wife Corinne maintain and develop has allowed for an annual touching point for people in the region with Roy and Northumbria. What is it for which they reach which urges some of them to journey long distances (in one case 150 kilometres each way!) to make that connection?
What is it that draws so many German people to connect and explore Celtic Christianity? Perhaps there are clues to be found in our travelling as we move onto Nuremberg….