It’s been seven long years since this man, once young of years and heart, last saw his home. As he stood on the hallowed ground where more than 11,500 years ago the people who once lived here gathered together to observe religious ceremonies this weary traveler could only gaze upon the ruins of Gobekli Tepe, the Turkish religious site now being excavated. He hoped, beyond reason, that his journey had come to an end.
There at this oldest of religious sites the traveler of many miles met a man who may possess the answer to the question which initiated the journey. This man of German origin worked at the now archeological site and was found to be a good listener. “Klaus,” the man said, “just call me Klaus.”
This traveler of many miles told the story of the loss of his son and some few years later that of his best friend and wife. The two died horrible deaths and, to this searcher’s way of thinking, without explanation. He wanted answers and where better to find those answers than at the world’s most holy of sites.
Klaus stood silently as he leaned against a shovel and listened. His head occasionally turned when he seemed to find some words spoken in Turkish to hold interest but his eyes remained fixated on the seeker of answers. The traveler explained that he had traveled to the world’s most holy and religious of sites but still the answer to his question had eluded him. “Why doesn’t God understand my words and why am I not able to understand his?
‘I have stood upon the ground of the Edicule in Jerusalem and spoken to the almighty only to find that my words would fall on deaf and unconcerned ears. I stood before the Kaaba in Mecca and pleaded for its builders, Ibrahim and Ismail, to introduce me to the lord of all beings but the silence was deafening.
‘As I fell to the earth on my knees in Lumbibi and gazed upon the birthplace of Guatama Buddah himself I called for God to hear my words, but no response was received. I wondered aloud if there could truly be such a divine being who would listen.
‘Vienna’s Weltliches Schatzkammer Museum led me to the home of the “Spear of Destiny,” the metal point that once pierced the skin of the son of God. But alas, God wasn’t there and I was ignored as I prayed while bowing before the spear.
‘The journey of many years took me to Scotland where I looked upon the home of Margret McDonald and wondered why the creator’s son spoke to her of the rapture knowing that he had never spoken a single word to me, and I feared that he never would.
‘I was certain that in the royal chapel of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist I would hear the words of the lord. The holy place of worship in Turin, Italy was the place where the “Shroud of Turin” was safeguarded. However, once again, my words and questions were ignored.
‘I walked the ground at Cova da Iria hoping beyond hope that the mother of Jesus, Mary, would speak with me as she had done to the three shepherd children in 1917. But there was only silence and the “Lady of Fatima” miracle was not to be repeated.” The disheartened man asked the German, “Can God hear me from this old place as I stand, all alone, here in Turkey.”
The man spoke fluent German and English. Klaus spoke several words in what sounded to the searcher very much like German but he couldn’t be certain as he didn’t speak or understand the words passed onto him.
“Do you not understand what I have said; the words I spoke to you?” “No I’m afraid I don’t understand what you have said.” “That’s because you haven’t learned to speak and understand the German language. I fear that you have also not yet learned to understand the language spoken by God.”
“God speaks of peace, love and hope. I feel as though the tragedies you have spoken of have rendered you partially deaf and you can now only understand the language of anger and faithlessness. You however can learn the language spoken by God but only if you will vanquish that anger and look deep into your heart and find faith and love.”
“But the distances I have traveled over these seven years are miniscule compared to the vast desolation that lives within me,” the man replied with an almost desperate voice. “Can faith and love still reside somewhere within me; I fear that I don’t have the answer to that question.”
This strange German said, “Find that answer and you will be able to understand the language which God speaks. I don’t believe he only speaks to those who are standing on sacred ground, he speaks to all of us.”
The weary stranger is in need of a miracle but there is an obstacle in his way of asking for that event born of divine intervention. He doesn’t speak or understand the language of God. There seems to be a linguistics problem that he only recently became aware of and he is not sure he can overcome the obstacle. That obstacle is in fact, he himself. The inquisitive one needs to unlearn the language rooted in anger, faithlessness and despair and learn the language birthed from peace, love and hope; the language of God.
“My Missouri home; It’s been seven long years since I last saw the white springtime blossoms on the dogwoods,” the wanderer silently said to himself. He found that he once more yearned to marvel at the beauty of the Ozark hills, valleys and streams.
“I must learn to remember one’s life, not one’s death; I’ll go home to Missouri. I fear that I’m someday bound to leave you with scarcely more than an infinitesimal understanding of all the beautiful things I have so casually overlooked. But maybe, and over time, that can be changed.”