The summer of 2013, I took my first trek across the pond. Germany and Belgium were the destinations. My younger brother was stationed in Southern Germany. We hadn’t seen him or his wife since our wedding two years prior. We missed them dearly and were looking forward to the excursion in new countries.
Towards the end of our trip, we stayed in Brussels. Compared to the picturesque and quaint German villages on the Romantic Road with fairy tale castles and green pastures, Brussels was grittier, gray and more industrial. A hustle and bustle city, with Gothic architecture dating back many centuries. An epic center of the financial industry, a more suit and tie atmosphere in the business district, a melting pot of cultures on the trains and walkways. Brussels had that edge, a seedier city. One, I happened to bond with over Belgium brews and chocolates at corner cafés.
When I turned on the news Tuesday morning, my heart dropped. Terror attack in Europe. Again. This time, in Brussels. Horrible and tragic, deaths and terror at public places. The headlines and stories were scary, the pictures and videos even more so. Several killed and hundreds wounded from a senseless act of terror. Is this the world we live in, where terror acts occur at airports and metro lines, where hundreds are headed to work or travel? Sadly, yes, acts of terror have no boundaries. There are no rules when those play the ugly game of killing. The innocent and unknown are the targets, lives gone forever in a single moment.
Everyone has an opinion of what should be done. The universal cry we can all agree on is….. stop the terror. The how’s and what’s, I’ll leave to the higher power of government officials. But what I can do, is pray for the victims, pray for peace. Pray for Brussels. We all can. I believe in the darkness of this world, when the tides turn ugly and when we doubt – good will prevail over evil.
My focus this week is Brussels, in my thoughts and in my prayers, the victims and the ones still searching for answers. A city I visited for three days and one I want to see again, maybe with my son the next time around.
My heart is with you, Brussels. I walked your paths, was a guest in your presence. Saw your beauty at sunset. Slept in your quarters, got lost in your streets. Tasted the finest white truffles, marveled at your churches. May the good unite over the darkness. Peace will prevail.