A Vision of Understanding, Peace, and Promise
By Joann Condit of Phoenix, AZ, USA
Then the Lord answered me and said: Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay. —Habakkuk 2:2–3 NRSV
On a tour of Europe, we visited Berlin. One misty morning we stopped at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. We learned of the irreparable damage to the original building by an air raid during World War 2. Part of one spire and a large part of the entrance hall were all that remained standing.
Officials planned to demolish the single spire that remained of the original five. The people of Berlin objected strenuously, so the new design incorporated the spire. Builders assembled the new structure as a concrete honeycomb containing 21,292 stained glass inlays. The strongest color is cobalt blue with tiny areas of ruby red, emerald green, and a vibrant yellow. From Light shines through in stunning beauty at night.
It was rainy and cold the morning of our visit. From the outside, the myriad squares of stained glass appeared dark gray with only an occasional glint of color. We walked into the chapel where we nearly lost our breath in the blue glory of this place of worship.
I confess I am not appreciative of crucifixion statues depicting Jesus’ suffering in brutal detail. I feel that centers the message of Christ in his death rather than on his resurrection and its deep promise to us. However, the great gold depiction of Christ in the Berlin church is heart-stopping. It is medieval in execution with the longer head and a look of patient sorrow etched in the face. The strongest impression is one of welcome in the outstretched hands, in the forgiveness and lack of condemnation in the facial features.
At length, we turned away and slipped through the doors behind us. There we found a fellow traveler, Ellen, who started to share her sense of wonder and awe and acceptance within the chapel. She suddenly dissolved in tears. She tried to apologize as she mopped at the welling tears, but we fully understood, for we also found our own eyes flooded. The most Ellen could speak was this: “Oh, the understanding…the peace…the promise…!”
What more was there to say?
Prayer for Peace
We do not often find ourselves stunned into silence, God. But when we are, we understand your Word in a new way. We see the peace and promise of Christ and long to share them with companion travelers and strangers alike.
Spiritual Practice: Encountering Scripture as Continuing Revelation
Read and pray with Doctrine and Covenants as Continuing Revelation of God’s vision for the church and creation. Choose a favorite passage or focus on counsel in Sections 156–164. Read a few selected paragraphs slowly three or four times. Pause to pray for deep understanding after each reading.
Pray for opening your heart and emotions. Prayerfully ask to hear the phrase or word that speaks to you or touches your life. Stay with this word or phrase. Listen as fully and openly as you can. What sense of divine presence or invitation comes? What is revealed?
Today, God, I will wait for the light and see your world in all its beauty.