Never without a father

A child finds a bridge of hope for her displaced and war-weary family.

I Grew Up In the Germany of World War II—a war-ravaged country. Insecurity, fear, hunger, and danger were our daily companions. My mother, sisters, brother, and I were living far away from our relatives and from all that was familiar. Away from the big city of Kassel, where we had lived, and where bombing had driven us from our home, we found refuge in an old building in a small village, in some rooms above a stable.

Nearby, on a hill, stood a small stone church. Inside its thick walls, I found such stillness. I just loved the place and the feeling of peace I always found there. On one wall hung a picture of an angel watching over two children who were walking hand-in-hand onto a narrow bridge—a bridge without handrails—that crossed a turbulent river. The children's faces, though, were lifted up, looking away from the raging waters. Listening to the angel—the message from God—they walked without fear. When I gazed at the picture, I could feel that these children were listening to God with deep trust and peace.

A place to live
December 24, 2001

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