Day 101-107 Prague, Czech Republic

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Spotted this black dog on the famous Charles Bridge in muggy Prague. No collar, no owner, just a slow intent to follow the crowd and wind up.. somewhere. He was friendly enough but in NZ he would be impounded, micro-chipped, inoculated and offered to a good home before being euthanised, if no kind-hearted takers. I don’t know if he has a name, but he does remind me of Winston Churchill who suffered from depression, which he referred to as his ‘black dog’. Churchill was a temperamental impulsive man who was disliked by his peers, but he had the balls to stand up to Hitler. A bit like Trump who is universally disliked but who stood up to Kim Yong Un, called his bluff, threatened him with annihilation (to the scorn of the Left), and brokered a peace deal. Go figure.

Depression has been my companion since the age of twelve. Over a four year period I had three godly counselors who identified this as the age I suffered the trauma of abuse: bullied at high school, not once or twice but relentlessly over a three year period, by staff and pupils in a foreign school. Pushed to the ground, kicked, spat upon, mocked mercilessly and called the scum of the earth. Why? Because I had a kiwi accent in a foreign land and I didn’t know how to stand up for myself. I was an immigrant, an alien, forever the outsider, socially ostracised & dysfunctional, wounded, hurt and that trauma turned to bitterness, resentment, anger, and yes, a major depression problem. It has taken a lifetime to come to terms with it, but it is so ingrained it turns up in my life like a black dog, like a demon on my shoulder whispering negative thoughts, like a curse.

Prague is a mega tourist destination, not far behind Venice, Paris & Greece in it’s drawing power. They come in their hordes, and swarm like orcs over the landscape devouring all they see. But I shouldn’t be skeptical as I could be mistaken for a tourist. I walk around a lot, I take a lot of pics, I drink coffee and even stretch to roast duck, red cabbage & dumplings for a meal. Wow. But my motivation to leave my family for this length of time (four months on the road) is different: I’m here because I have a message of hope for those who are broken. Like Eva after the Sunday service in the Roman Catholic church in Želiv. I prayed with her (with a translator), her face was drawn, she had tears in her eyes, I could see her struggle, and so I was able to speak and pray words that gave practical  insight, inspiration and hope. It’s not a tourist destination, it’s a calling.

He traveled through that area, speaking many words of encouragement to the people, and finally arrived in Greece. Acts 20.2

3 thoughts on “Day 101-107 Prague, Czech Republic”

  1. Very well written. Thought-provoking. You always have a way to bring us nearer to God whether you it is true your music or through your written word or your wonderful pictures. Keep turning to the Lord for your guidance. He’ll show you the way.

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  2. Thank you Jules. I have never suffered deep depression but I have lived alongside those who have. I have studied Churchill for a long time as part of my teaching work. I love the photos of the brick walls he built at Chartwell as he, like you, wrestled with his own black dog. I wonder how many wartime solutions he came up with by having the courage to go out and just lay bricks while he was fighting that black hound? Sounds similar to what you are doing over these four months, going out to make a difference out of your comfort zone. Love your writing (hug).

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