Tearing Down My Walls
Two blocks to the west of our flat stands one of the last sections of the Berlin Wall. This cement block is covered with slurs of graffiti—the lonely cross beside it a grim reminder of No Man’s Land.
The wall is hidden at the far end of a stately cemetery with shell-damaged mausoleums and polished new stones. Giant oak trees line the walkway between the stones, shafts of sunlight peeking through their leaves.
When I walk along this quiet path, I can almost hear the whispers from twenty, thirty, and forty years ago when secrets were traded, information passed between dissenters who dreamed of freedom without the wall. I walk in the footsteps of people who were trapped within the wall, many whom fought and died for life on the other side.
The Stasi (Secret Police) permeated every part of East Berlin society, generating fear into those who weren’t loyal. For almost thirty years, the people in my new neighborhood couldn’t see over the Wall. Crosses were torn down. Churches were disbanded. Colored paint was replaced with browns and gray. Government controlled education, work, religion, and the raising of Communist kids.
Then hope arrived in East Berlin in 1989. Freedom! The wall came down.
Yet in spite of their freedom, half of East Berliners still vote for the Communist party in local elections. Why? Because they miss the good ole days when loyalists lived in the shadow of security and were guaranteed a job. I could scoff and say I don’t understand their rejection of freedom, but maybe in a slight way, I do.
Living so close to this once formidable wall makes me wonder…
Can I tear down the walls in my own life? Knock down my fear of failure, my guard against rejection, the shield I carry to deflect criticism, even the intimidation that comes from something as simple as writing a blog.
And more important, when the walls come down, can I be grateful for the new adventures God has given me? I hope and pray that on this writing journey, I’ll keep striving, trying new things instead of getting stuck reminiscing about the good ole days when life seemed easier, and I lived in the shadow of security and a “real” job.
I hope you’ll join me on my journey as a writer, traveler, follower of Christ, and mom. In the bright light of freedom, it’s guaranteed to be one wild ride.