I don’t know what I was expecting to find when we arrived in the pine forests of southern Germany. My father had told me of their beauty, and I had seen pictures from that region, but I had imagined that European forests, trees, and mountains were somehow different from the trees and mountains I know on my native continent. And thus it was that I was surprised to find striking similarity between the two when I walked beneath those high branches and climbed along the mountains. Every pine tree reminded me of the pine forests of New Mexico, and the high Alpine peaks made me think of the Rocky Mountains that I love so well. But how is it that these mountains are so similar to mountains thousands of miles away, on a completely different continent?
As I pondered this, I considered how the Creator’s hand may be seen in both places, and the similarities point to a common Creator. Other things came to mind as well: although there are a number of cultural differences between Europe and North America, the fellowship between brothers and sisters in Christ is the same no matter what side of the ocean I am on, and this familiarity is comforting to me.