Lake Como and the Bernina Express scenic train across the Alps were a like nap in the arms of mother nature after the intensity of the western world’s urban rulers, Jerusalem and Rome. After the Bernina Express I needed a place to land and spend the night before continuing on to the events in Strasbourg. When I looked through Airbnb a few weeks ago there was one listing that, instead of just hawking all the amenities, was about Jesus, and invited guests to ask the host about her healing from this Jesus person. The room was called the Healing Fire room. How could I resist that?
It turned out that the place was in a picturesque little Swiss town called Igis, with exalted views of the mountains and the village church. My host was a delightful little old lady (is height-abridged senior woman OK?) who told me, in barely-functional English aided by a dictionary and her dog-eared Bible, all about how she was in the hospital with a blood virus and Jesus came to her and gave her a Bible passage to recite. She walked out of the hospital shortly afterwards, to the consternation of the doctors. I kept wanting to tell her about my own story, but it seemed like there were too many acts and too large a cast of characters to fit onto her small apartment balcony.
She asked me if I knew Jesus like somebody asking if you know Joe down the street. I said I did and told her as much as I could about our travels in Israel, and about MSIA. There was a powerful devotional energy in her place that, combined with the cloud-kissed green and white mountains and the placid energy of the village, snuggled me into a quiet, otherworldly state. Can I please live on this mountain forever and have only thoughts about God?
But by the next day I wanted something more. Or less. The devotional energy of “I’m here and God is over there on the next mountain peak” and the perfect order of the 900-year-old village, which had seemed so comforting at first, started sliding me into a sense of stasis, like being in an airport or train station for too long. I was ready for some movement of my spiritual inner awareness in Strasbourg. Like it or not I’m committed to the karma of the time and place I was born into—the train with no stops.