“Be ready to have your life totally altered. THAT I will gladly assure.”
A poem dedicated to the AMBEX program by Alexis Beattie
How can three months be condensed to a page,
When there’s so much there to say?
The weeks, and days, and hours are packed
But I suppose I can find a way.
A wise man once told me
“Live life to the fullest.”
I am not sure I knew what he meant.
Until, that is, I hopped on a plane
To Germany and made my descent.
I knew nothing of them but Hitler and Jews
Yet soon they would all change my mind.
Germans are people just like you and me,
We have all made great mistakes.
Judging them won’t help us grow from the past
And we need to for all of our sakes.
Church is sadly not very personal
For most Germans are Catholic at heart
They sit there in mass, in a cold stony church
Not seeing Christ there from the start.
A mission field lies here in Germany,
For Catholics need the truth of Christ, too.
Their churches are filled every Sunday,
But with Mary, their saviors make two.
My heart cries out for their souls,
And I see such a need for God here.
But there is so much indifference.
Some Germans would rather drink beer.
With beer and a roll they begin their day,
Well, maybe not at 8 o’clock.
But their culture says it’s not very weird at all
To always have beer well in stock.
Incredible minds have come out of this place
Like Bonhoeffer, Einstein, and Strauss.
Theology, science, and music affected
Yet nearly forgotten because of a louse.
Hitler tainted the country’s good name,
They cannot even be proud,
For all of their past, both good and bad,
Is covered by the Holocaust cloud.
I am not saying it is unimportant.
World War II changed the world to be sure.
Yet we see the infection of sin on the earth
When we just see ourselves as most pure.
Christ came to the world to save,
Not some but all of mankind.
Sitting in church on Easter Sunday,
I realized how much I was blind.
For I forgot to see the world as a whole,
Outside of my own little shell.
I have learned a great deal since I’ve been here.
I hope you will learn much as well.
God brought me here for a reason,
The whole one I might never know.
My life has been changed by these mere three months,
And it wasn’t just ‘cuz of the snow.
I have fallen in love with this country,
The language, the people, the views.
From Munich’s döners and Nürnberg’s brats
And sitting in the great Luther’s pews,
To Neuschwanstein castle up there on the hill
And Dresden’s Il Troubadour play,
And let’s not forget the town I’ve called home,
Where some of my heart will now stay.
I’m afraid my description is useless
For mere words cannot explain,
Like a raindrop journeyed from the sky,
Cannot describe the rain.
You have to be a part of journey,
To describe just what has occurred.
For sometimes even the best words you can use
Will only make it even more blurred.
I hope I did Germany justice.
Unless you come you will never be sure.
Be ready to have your life totally altered.
THAT I will gladly assure.