Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Taizé

My second encounter with Taizé meetings got place in July 2009. After I've been first introduced to it at the big meeting in Bruxelles for the New Year, I've decided to go to the original village Taizé in the eastern France. Little village with a really small amout of inhabitants is located in the middle of nowhere – with fields all around it and small hills that hide the view the horizon. It's a magical place already with it's beautiful French architecture, amazing yellow-green-brown fields, white cows around taking an afternoon nap and a sound of fast French trains in the distant.
Especially during the summer this place gets crowded with young people all around the world. It's not just a small quiet village anymore, but becomes a home and place of extraordinary experiences for more than 3000 God-seeking young people. Big blue tents can be seen from the sky and many more little tents that people bring with themselves to live in them for a week. Aside the tents there are also a lot of barracks, which host an enormous amount of newcomers if they don't have the tent with them. The original village gets lost in the flood of tents and young people all around the place – but the main building, the church, still stands out from the enormity of all other things.
Staying there for a week is a concluded chapter. People change, climate changes. Friendships are made and and friendships get it's sad ending with knowing almost for sure you won't met her/him again. Whole world is there, mixing, sharing, living together – but it lasts just for a week and everybody has to go back to his normal life to where he came from.
Prayer is the main and the best experienced thing in Taizé. It's a change that made my relationship with God going again, a time most precious in that short week. Singing calmly one verse over and over again, praying in many languages and feeling the breath of three thousand people at the same time is wonderful. Silence. For almost 10 minutes during the prayer we were just sitting, having a time for personal talk to God, and again feeling the support of all other people around you, praying and praising the Lord for he has given us these precious moments.
Bible introduction after morning prayer always revealed me new thngs about the Bible. It's interesting how a man can understand what is written in it and actually apply all these weird habits and thoughts to modern life. Brother John, American, was all enthusiastic about the Sermon on the Mount and he knew how to get us better understanding and apply Jesus's teachings to our lives. If only I could listen to him every day, was I writing in my personal journal, for these hours with him really inspired me a lot and helped me to start thinking more while reading Bible. Discussing the Sermon on the Mount in the discussion group was an important experience for sharing the views of God with other Christians. So I got to know Remco, Rianna, Nejc, Jonas and many others.
Working group. I was cleaning big dishes in the washing room with many others. It was like having colleagues, working friends, who await you every day with a will to do something good for community. I got to meet a lot of new people, always happy, always trying to cheer each other up. Meeting at around 5pm and finishing after dinner at 20:20, just in time for evening prayer, was an everyday joy for me. In my opinion this was the biggest fun of the week, with four big washing pots and at least ten happy young people, joking around and having fun while working. So I got to know Akvilė, Liucija, Alice, Renske and many others.
Experience is what counts. My personal experience was full of people, but on the other side very calm and with time to think things over. It was full of starry nights and walks into memories. Talking about God, talking with people who understaood you quickly, talking just for fun and meeting people who become your friends almost instantly. Having great walks in the fields and trying to figure out how can a community such as Taizé lives so simple life. This way I met my new friends, me and God.
Time for yourself and time for other people, these were the two most imporant things in Taizé and because of them I will definitely come back to that little magical village of joy.

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