Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving of one another as God in Christ forgave you.
-Ephesians 4:31-32

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hide and Seek

As part of being a Shelter staff member, it's required to go to MTP (Missionary Training Program) classes.

The organization plans out training classes twice a week and whoever isn't working during those times is required to go to these classes.

This past week's class was probably my favorite. We went and played hide and seek with God.

Jesus used what was around him to show where God was working. He physically used metaphors involving the things around him, like plants and stuff. In the city, it's hard to feel connected to those types of metaphors.

So, all the staff members were encouraged to get lost in Amsterdam for an hour and a half. Walk around somewhere you don't usually go and find God.

I wandered down to the south-central part of the city, to an area called Spui. On my walk along some of the busier canals, I saw people out with eachother, eating at cafes, having a good time. God works there.

When I got to Spui, I wandered into a "hofje". Hofjes are all around Amsterdam, they're inner courtyards that once you pass thorugh them, you feel worlds away from any city. Usually, Hofjes were formed on the inside of almshouses, charity housing for widows, orphans or disabled people. I wandered into the Begijnhof (click the word-- it's a link!).

It was beautiful to wander from one of the busier, touristy squares to this place of safety. And it's so green!

In the Hofje was the English Language reformed church that many of the Pilgrims went to before setting off on the Mayflower. The inside reminded me so much of some of the old protestant churches back home. Seriously I felt like I stepped from busy Amsterdam into a quaint little garden and then stepped right into New England. Right back home.

Funny how that works.

I wanted to share what was the culmination of my "Hide and Seeking". It's a quote about the church I found while wandering:

"Tomorrow morning I am going to the English church; it lies there so peaceful in the evening in that silent Begijnhof among the thorn hedges, and seems to say: In loco isto dabo pacem. In this place, I shall give peace says the Lord. Amen. So be it"
-Vincent VanGogh

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