I am writing this (26th April) whilst on holiday for a week with some of my family in the Ardennes. A friend of mine said, “Ah, pâté country!”
We’re in Belgium, towards the south, and not far from Luxembourg. It’s relatively quiet here, with hills, forests and rivers. My son-in-law Herman is knowledgeable about wild life (and so many other things too). Yesterday he showed us where beavers had gnawed right through a tree, and today he took photographs of a young owl, and of a crossbill.
It’s hard to imagine this part of the world being anything other than quiet, but that has not always been the case. Every little town seems to have a museum, and often a large tank stands outside. This is the area where the Battle of the Bulge was fought. It was the last major European battle of World War 2. It was a brilliant German offensive, and an outstanding victory for the allies. The museums keep the sacrifice of the lives of thousands living on.
It causes me, as a Christian, to think of communion, or breaking bread. It continually reminds us of the unique sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary. That is one reason our church has communion each week. And likewise, I regularly reflect on the difference Jesus made when Barrie Lawrence the atheist became Barrie Lawrence the born-again Christian. A whole new life with fulfilment and real joy.
Today we have been to two waterfalls, and watched with a sense of wonder and awe. Tomorrow is our last day, and my daughter asked the four granddaughters what they want to do. “Swim, go in the sauna, and watch television,” they replied! For Wendy and me, a stroll through forests, by rivers and waterfalls, reflecting upon the wonders of this beautiful creation, will more than satisfy.