Walking On Water1:33 PM
Here I sit in a café in Wuerzburg. It is a café in a bookshop and thereby an entirely suitable place to spend a rainy day. The remains of my American brownie sit next to me taunting me in the most enticing of ways to take just one more bite. University students laugh excitedly and somewhat stupidly in the corner, while a large Wuerzburger lets her head drop ein, zwei, drei times, before drifting to sleep to the soothing sounds of cappuccino machines and the constant drone of voices in deep, Germanic conversation.
Savagely, I take another bite from my now dwindling brownie, and melancholically observe my empty coffee cup. It’s a bad day. The flat I was so sure was mine, in not only unavailable, but has a mile long waiting list. Not yet two weeks in Germany and I find myself completely overwhelmed. What if I don’t find a job? How long will I be living in the one horse town of Salz eeking away at Franzi’s generosity? “Go, have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous!” My soul knows quite well who is speaking, yet I, like a petulant child, will have none of it.
I think back to last Friday, when I sat high up at the top of Wuerzurg’s Festung Marienburg, underneath the majestic fortress, and prayed for two hours for this city’s wellbeing. That was, quite literally, a ‘mountaintop experience’, but here in the valley I feel wretched. Wurzburg is an interesting town with an ever changing face. Now predominantly a university town, filled with the life of young people, it was in the past a place of much heartache and division. Sometime in the 600’s A.D., a few Irish monks felt the call to bring the great news (its better than good news don’t you think? :) ) and ended up in Wuerzburg. The whole town ended up adopting Christianity, but the unfortunate monks were martyred in the process.
I found it altogether ironic that I, a smalltown American girl, would feel the same call from Ireland to the exact same city as those monks. One can only hope my story has a far less violent ending!
Back in coffee shop world, I look around me and observe that the rather large woman has awakened herself with a confused snore, the college boys have polished off their milkshakes, and the giggling females have assumed a near human pitch. One last bit of my little American brownie smiles contentedly up at me and I suddenly realize how much I have to be thankful for. Who knows if any of the people in this coffee shop have ever met Jesus in the very real ways that I have? And though, at times, I feel very much the counterpart of Peter, rip-raring to get out of the boat one minute and sinking in despair the next, yet I have possessed, if only for a moment, the knowledge of what it is like to walk on water.