Almost daily I go to my best friends Blog and read lesson's God's not only teaching her in her walk through grief, but lesson's he's teaching me. Seven years later I just keep learning. I'm coming the ultimate conclusion that God will continue to teach me in this walk for the rest of my life until I am with him. I'm good with that too! ;)
Yesterday we were on our way home from a Chapel Retreat down at Edelweiss which is in Garmisch. We decided to go to Dachua Concentration Camp. We had the boys so we had talked to friends who actually went there the day before on what was appropriate to take the boys to there and what to avoid. Being a military family I think in ways our boys and now daughter will grow up with more than enough realities, realities of war for that matter...I know I can't shield them from every horror in this world, but I can shield them from as much as possible. Jacob already knows some of the horrors of WWII and what Hitler and the Nazi's (SS) did, he's too young to know all of it. I prayed over it and felt God leading us to go ahead and go. Jack was totally oblivious to what it all meant, as any 4 yr old SHOULD be (imo), Emma only cared about nursing and being held of course as any newborn is...Jacob had questions and Chad and I answered them for him as age appropriate as we could and just told him we couldn't answer some of his questions.
Walking through what is now a memorial to those who were murdered in the name of craziness (well in my opinion) and cruelty, it's hard to not be completely and utterly humbled and to see that through all my own heartache I have that in so many ways it doesn't even compare, yet how can we compare heartache? But....I think of how blessed I am. I was always with Jordyn. Never a moment in her life did she go without being surrounded in nothing but complete love. She never had a moment in her life of feeling abandoned by Chad or I or God. Never in her 2 yrs did she have to go farther than down the hall of our home to be in arms that loved her. Through the pain that she felt from the leukemia, there was always pain medication, rocking, lullabyes sung, arms to hold her, love to surround her in. Yet those at the concentration camps had little to none of that. I pray that they all clung to God's love and faithfulness. Those who do not know Christ, can not fathom how I can write that, but I believe with everything in me that God remained with them through it all and I believe it broke his heart without a doubt. Beyond the horrible torture, starvation, lack of warm clothing, hygiene, there was a lack of love and compassion. For many of them they had no idea if their families were alive, if they were going through the same torture as they were, if they were hurt, or dead. Can you imagine that? I can't. You see I can't imagine what it's like to not be surrounded by people who love me. I'm blessed and I get that. Yesterday I promise you there were so many more lesson's learned. Horrors of what those who were kept as "political prisoners" experienced I had a small glimpse of. I saw the size of the bunks that were made to "house" 200 people but ended up housing 2,000 instead. I walked on ground that made my feet ache after a couple hours, I saw the crematorium where so many of their lives ended. Why? It's beyond my understanding and I believe it's beyond what God's will was for their life, yet it still remains as a fact.
Dachau was the first concentration camp and the rest were created from it's example. 46,000 people died inside the walls and fences. Lives were changed, our world was changed. April 29, 1945 the Americans arrived and ended their torture. The emotions I felt as I looked at pictures of those who were being kept there as prisoners when the Americans came is beyond words for me. I cried a lot inside and out. We barely spoke through most of it. We were not able to see all of it because it was not for the boys to see. Although I walked through one of the crematoriums Chad kept the kids outside on a bench which ironically is now surrounded by beautiful gardens. To think that inside a brick building death happened, but on the outside now life is blooming.
On the Jewish Memorial was a scripture written in Hebrew. I believe the verse was Psalms 121:3. I looked it up tonight as I was commenting in Emily-Really Living blog. The whole verse though grabbed me:
A song of ascents.
I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
Even when we can't see him...God's there holding us. God is constantly teaching me this lesson, yesterday it was more evident than ever.
These pictures were side by side..the one on the right is an Aerial view of the camp.
Above is the bunks the prisoners had to sleep in...this just does not show how small they were.
this was where the 30 bunks used to stand...the original foundation is still there and the rocks fill in between the foundation they were 10 meters wide by 100 meters long.