Monday in Haarlem
Leaving Paris we embarked on another train ride! After checking into the hotel we set out to explore the town center of Haarlem.
The architecture of the 100+ year old buildings is breathtakingly amazing! Cobblestone streets, the year of the buildings decoratively engraved, set in stone to forever declare that we’ve stood the test of time. There are bicycles everywhere and believe me, they have the right of way! It is so beautiful and has the feel of a slower paced lifestyle! I’m hoping I can get Nan and Chris back on the plane with me!
Right on the corner of the Hanover town square is this magnificent church, The Grote Kerk. It is famous from the fact that Georg Friedrich Handel worshipped here and played its magnificent organ throughout his long years in London. But wait, Mozart also played the organ in this church …. Whaaaa????
We let the kids go shop and explore in groups and then joined back up for dinner at La Picoletta. It was a wonderful café serving pizza and pasta!
Tomorrow morning we head back into town to the Corrie ten Boom Museum. Corrie and her family helped rescue and hide the Jews until they were caught and sent to the concentration camp themselves. After lunch we head into Amsterdam and go through the Anne Frank house! After having visited Normandy yesterday this will be the other side of a sobering tragic time when human lives were deemed not fit to live. The allied forces fought to defeat a tyrant and we are going to see the side of ordinary people that fought the same battle with a different strategy to rescue the Jews and others on Hitler’s victim list from the horrific ideas of his malicious anti-Semitism and obsessive pursuit of Aryan supremacy. Hitler’s plan promoted the murder/genocide of some 6 million Jews, along with other victims; Roma gypsies, homosexuals, Jehovah Witnesses, Afro-Germans, Soviet Prisoners of War, resistance groups, people with disabilities and anyone that was caught helping Hitler’s victims. The Nazis believed that superior races didn’t just have the right, but they had the obligation to subdue and even exterminate who they thought were inferior to them. (Hitler claimed Christianity to be a part of his platform, however he had a scorn for the Christian values of equality and compassion, which he identified with weakness)
What a day tomorrow will be. Pray for us that we won’t just ‘walk through’ but we’ll take to heart what we see and experience and these stories will become a part of our own life stories. I pray that we too will be people that carry the banner for justice, that we will be a voice where a voice is silenced. We will acknowledge and live our lives in a way that demonstrates that we do believe that we are all created in God’s image by honoring one another. God sees no distinction … neither should we!
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
James 2 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him?