Prague. Some say it is the Paris of the East.
We sit in a coffee shop and cheerily debate over Budapest, Krakow, and Prague. ‘Which city is the coolest? Explain the vibe. Most livable? Best cafe culture?’
For best architecture, Prague probably wins. Every corner has a beautiful building stretching towards the sky. It earns the name, Paris of the East, and it wears it well.
Medieval. Ornate. Royal. Gothic.
I am learning about this Central European character in tiny sips, like a good espresso.
We began our lives in Moscow, Russia, fascinated by the Slavic language, the Cyrillic alphabet, the pride of a people, the deep rivers of art and intelligence and soul.
We spent a lifetime in Sofia, Bulgaria where the heart of the Balkan Peninsula beats strong and deep. And, we fell in love with her rhythms, her beauties, her flavors. She is a passionate soul with a touch of the East, and a touch of the Slavic – a jewel that sparkles and bids you to dance a while there.
Bulgaria, Albania, Kosova, Romania – the beautiful Balkans.
Croatia? The bridge between the Balkans and Central Europe, in my opinion. The artistic vibe in Zagreb breaks through my dam and floods my soul. The Adriatic, flirts and tugs at the toes of my spirit, begging me to come in and play for just one minute. Balkan? Yes. But, Balkan AND
So, we find ourselves here, now, in Central Europe. A short 4-year foray into the land of castles and architecture and the East that refused to be taken by communism. There is a stubbornness of spirit here that will not easily relinquish her history, her people, her character. I love that. I respect that. My soul soars here in new vistas: Budapest. Krakow. Prague. Cities that welcome you as tourists, but to be more than an acquaintance? Prove yourself. Learn the language. Become a part. Fall in love with her like a lover willing to lose yourself, your time, your life, your energy. Or, buy a ticket and move on.
Oh, the lessons that we learn about mission that cannot be taught in a classroom.
So, today, put away your books about reaching people for Jesus. Lay aside the strategy and the planning and just for a minute, breathe the air. Look around. How does your the heart of your neighborhood beat? Where is its pulse? How can you enter in?
I leave this post today to walk the streets of Prague with Jay’s words resonating in my heart. I John 1:7 –
For if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his son, purifies us from all sin.
Today, I want to stroll through the streets of Prague, admire castles, snap photos that can never do the ancient beauty justice, hear stories of her courageous history while I walk in the light of Christ. And, I believe that in those moments, the gift of fellowship, the prevenient grace of Christ is at work in me. There are opportunities for people to enter in, to feel the presence of a Savior who died for them. Seeds of grace today – let me seeds of grace sown among the cobblestones where thousands of tourists from a host of cultures will jostle my camera for the perfect shot.
Jay powerfully preached this word – an unexpected logic. ‘If we walk in the light of Christ, we have fellowship with one another. The light of Christ creates the opportunity for fellowship with others.’ What a beautiful word today for those that are lost. What a beautiful word today for those of us who know the Light – an opportunity to be grace.