As I reflect on my recent trip to Germany, there is one major truth that leaps out at me, that the blood of family really is thicker than water.
Returning home was a trip of a lifetime for me. Germany is truly one of those romantic countries one must put on their list of places to visit. I was most enchanted by the architecture that surrounded me. I took dozens of pictures of the cutest old houses with pitched roofs and the most darling white lace curtains with flower boxes in all the windows…even on the bridges! I think I came home with six different curtains to hang I loved them so much.
As I mentioned in my previous post, my mom was my personal tour guide. It was a little startling to see the pride, no, joy in my mother’s face as we walked around town and she showed my sister and me all the places she lived and played as a child. Standing in Idar, mom’s expression was pure happiness as her childhood memories flooded her thoughts…the good ones and the bad ones. She can remember at two years old being on her mother’s back running to the bomb shelter from the top of the hill while American bullets sprayed all around her. She also remembers the smell and sounds of being in that shelter. We stopped and took a picture of her standing next to it.
Mom pointed to the place where she recalls sitting on a bench as a young girl burning the scenery of Idar Oberstein into her memory because she knew one day she would be leaving her home. I have so much love and respect for my mother…..leaving everything she knew to come to America at barely 20 years old. I often wonder if I could have done the same….
I have always known I had family in Germany and had even met two of my aunts, an uncle that lived with us for 6 months (he passed away a few years ago) and a couple of cousins before this trip, but I had not met everyone so I was really looking forward to finally meeting the rest of my family. I was welcomed into their homes with open arms. Not knowing or caring what my past was, what my job is, how much money I make, and on, and on. I was treated like royalty….it was so heartwarming. My cousins and second cousins went out of their way to take us on day trips to Trier to view the ruins from the Roman Empire (Charlemagne was crowned Emperor there), Koblenz, Nuebrucke, where I was born, and a trip on a boat down the Rhine River to see the Castles, and tons of shopping.
As I pondered my family’s reaction to our visit to this beautiful land of language barriers, I felt something stir in me about God’s love for us. This is exactly how God accepts you into His family! He welcomes you in, despite your failures, your faults, your sins….when you accept Christ as your Savior, God only sees His Son’s righteousness. It’s all smiles and hugs for you, just like family!