I walked my legs off today trying to absorb the beauty—along the Limmet River, down the narrow cobblestone streets, into the historic churches, and all over the Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum). What topped the day off for me was when in two out of three Protestant churches I visited, the organist was practicing. As a former pipe organ student, I have to say that was a special pleasure for me.
But like any 21st century city, Zurich has an ugly underbelly. Today was filled with sobering evidence. Memorials of martyrs executed because of tensions between Catholics and Protestants and between Protestants and Protestants. A major section of the museum displayed all sorts of lethal weapons—guns and sharp instruments soldiers use on one another. Pornography abounds, not in an isolated area, but mingled in with the cafes and shops. The day ended with a drive through a red light district that left us all desperate to know even how to pray, much less what to do.
Tomorrow, I have the privilege of teaching Half the Church to a gathering of 125 Christian women who are coming from around Europe and North America. These women are hungry to go deeper and will, as part of this program, become involved in ministries to those who are suffering. I am reminded once again of the enormous potential that resides in half the Church. Those of us who are here are praying that God will awaken and mobilize his daughters to be blazing lights in a very dark world and bearers of good news to the oppressed and forsaken.
As one woman told me recently, “I don’t feel guilty that I haven’t acted in the past. I didn’t know what was happening to women and girls. Now I know, and I’ll feel guilty if I don’t do anything now.”