Two days ago, we didn’t get a day off work and school for the “Feiertag”, because the 30th anniversary of German reunification fell at the weekend!
I did however manage to catch up with a close friend of mine who spent her childhood in the DDR – a child’s view of that country would be different to an adult one but even so the friend without thinking named three things that she inherited from a DDR childhood that has stood her in good stead as an adult
- she grew up without a sense of entitlement
- she grew up with an excellent work ethic
- she grew up with a healthier role model for women in the workplace and in society
(and then there was the DDR Sandmann, so superior and of course Pittiplatsch)
At a time when much reflection and analysis is given over to what welcoming the ‘neue Bundesländer’ has cost economically and socially, little is heard about what those areas of the united Germany brought to the remarriage, in terms of education and culture and who knows what else.
The conversation with the friend and those reflections were invited by the anniversary of German reunification, but they are not irrelevant to where we find ourselves in Covid-19 times still and even again in this second wave.
Not surprisingly, many, many people focus on what we have lost and there is so, so much we have lost: economically, in terms of work, freedoms, security, relationships… the list is vast. And yet little is heard about what we have gained: by that I don’t just mean the invitation to hear birdsong and see flowers in ways we haven’t for a long time, but as a catalyst for change
Lots of people hate change and yet without change words like rut and stagnant are used both of which are images that are depict thins which are the opposite of life affirming.
What changes in the workplace, in education, in places of worship, in travel, in communication, in ways to feed our world, in nature recovering, new energy sources and in much, much else will future generations look back and say
“That was the start of a cultural revolution “
“Can you imagine still working like that …”
As Christians we have biblical role models of people who embraced change because they believed God called them to it:
Abraham, David, Ruth, Esther, a number of the prophets, also Matthew, the parents of our Lord and countless others and some of them paid dearly for embracing such change, even with their lives.
How will we be in these times?
- people who complain? (and what does that achieve?)
- people who take seriously the weight of all that has been lost and yet with the eyes of faith turn their faces towards the unknown that is yet to come in gratitude to a God who is ever present, ever guiding, ever resourcing?
- Will we see a Pilgrimage even here even in this context?
May we blessed in living in such a way and encouraging others who struggle more than we do, who have lost more than we have.