Autobiography Dieter Rolf Fischer Book 11
(Photos by author, unless stated) Book 11 / Ch. 10 Written / Published 06.12.12 / 10.12.2012
"The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lit up the world. The earth trembled and shook." (Psalm 77, 18)
10. Real Royal Madrid
As I worked on completing the previous Chapter (uploaded around 9.11 PM), I was astounded as to the timely appearance of thunder over Adelaide earlier that afternoon. Almighty God confirmed HIS servant, five days after I had included the word thunder in the title. It was a Thursday!
The faint rumbling of thunder, mentioned on editing, had come at 3.55 PM. At first I was unsure, if I had heard correctly. Was it really thunder or some other noise? Had my imagination run away too far?
I asked my wife, busy in the kitchen, who confirmed it. She had heard distant thunder too. Later my son, who had been on duty at the Kent Town Bureau of Meteorology that very day, also confirmed the thunder - exactly 11 hours after my earlier reported thunder. If anybody, my son would know.
But there was more - more thunder! That night, the night of Thursday to Friday, I retired to bed soon after publishing the previous chapter. I woke around 3.30 AM with thoughts of God's amazing way of showing Himself, of displaying HIS unlimited power in such a public way. How clearer could HE make HIS presence known, than rolling HIS mighty thunder at just the right time?
I found it hard to get back to sleep, stirred in my spirit. Suddenly, as the clock showed 3.54 AM (one minute short of 12 hours) the thunder started again. This time it lasted longer and was not only distant, but noisy and near. Dogs started barking. As usual, I brought our little Fox Terrier inside.
Many residents of Adelaide, at least those who did not sleep through it, or didn't live too far away, would have heard this thunder, only hours after I had written about Thunder and Thursday and much, much more ...
- - - - - - -
(*whatever has its limits. The words clean and common sense come to mind).
Stirred even more by this timely thunder, I rose and booted the computer into life. I wanted to tell somebody about this thunder. But who, and what would I say?
Then I remembered what I had read online some time earlier: Our Premier had expressed support for a law for South Australia, which would legalize same sex-marriage. If it were to pass through Parliament our law would be the first in Australia. The spotlight was on South Australia, after a failed attempt in Tasmania..
Until September 27th 2012, the battleground had been the 'Apple Isle'. In that small state, the proponents of the bill had assumed, the law would pass easily. It was defeated, thank God, but only by one vote.
Thinkers like me, those against same-sex marriages, can see that politicians care less about moral standards in society, than they do about increasing tourism in their state. Many same sex couples would, no doubt, marry in the state, where it's legal to do so. Weddings and the industry surrounding it, would receive a huge boom!
At the time of emailing the Premier in the early hours that thunderous morning, I had not even noticed the unintended pun in my otherwise serious email (the gentlemen's name, given at the end).
After retiring back to bed, still unable to settle my stirred brain cells, I found myself amused: "Did I just send a letter, after a thunderstorm passed over our city, to our Premier, whose name starts with weather and ends in ill? Our Premier's name is Jay Weatherill. (Facts are facts, sorry if they sound foolish, but it is so.)
It so happened that earlier, on the day of today's writing, I attended a briefing for pastors and church leaders, regarding this subject. The gathering was arranged by the Family Standards organisation, who I had closer contact with, and written much about, in my first few books. I had called the dynamic woman behind this group Rita, which is not her real name. (Strange, after the meeting today I met a lady by that name from ... not Brooklyn).
Outspoken South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi was the main speaker. Listening to him you sense his passion for speaking what he believes in. During the year, while I was overseas, he had upset a few people, including his own party leader with his public comments about same-sex marriage. Speaking in the Senate in Canberra he is quoted as saying:
The Senator paid the price for his bravery. His party leader stripped him of his position as Parliamentary Secretary, the first step to becoming a Minister. There were also death threats against the Senator.
Another speaker at today's hearing was a Christian, Sri Lanka born lawyer, who assisted the Family Standards organisation on legal matters. The gentleman was asked to contribute as Tasmania debated its same-sex marriage laws. (Thankfully, after hearing the truth, the majority of Members of Parliament voted intelligently on September 27th.)
As I understand it, this lawyers tackled the issue from another angle. He argues on the basis that our Constitution clearly states that marriage is a union between a man and a woman to the exclusion of all other. To change the constitution, however, is not a power granted to the Federal Parliament in Canberra. To change the Australian Constitution requires a national referendum.
If South Australian politicians were so naive, to think they could introduce a law redefining marriage, it would immediately be met with a High Court Challenge on that basis.
The fundamental change from a female mother and a male father committing to each other in lifelong marriage, producing and raising children together is of a cultural nature, not merely a religious issue. It is social engineering of the most dangerous kind. Any law which seeks to overturn this wonderful, God-given foundation for mankind, is a slap in the face of Almighty God. No nation who passes such laws will prosper!
Huge advertisement above Times Square, New York
Text: A world where people everywhere can safely and freely enjoy their sexuality.
Sex is a healthy, enjoyable activity and best practiced with one life-long partner of the opposite sex .
- - - - - - -
The next morning, after my thunder chapter and 'weather bad' email to our Premier I heard at least one or two radio stations mention the thunder the previous night. One popular TV Quiz show, a few days later, gave a far more subtle hint at thunder, one which only bi-lingual (English and German) viewers would have seen. My schematic brain saw it in an instant:
- - - - - - -
- - - - - - -
(Back to exploring)
In this modern world to book an airfare has become easy; do it online. When I searched for and booked my flights early in 2012 I noticed that flying New York >>> Frankfurt was considerably more expensive than flying to Madrid. I had never been to Spain before. For the same airfare, roughly, why not take the opportunity and visit another exciting destination en route?
Likewise, how easy to book accommodation online! When I enquired where to stay in Madrid I chose a hostel, simply because it had won an award. Afterwards, when I researched the address and how get there from the airport, I found it most interesting:
Madrid street names, very Christian, very Christmassy!
In the first hour of arriving in Madrid, on July 12th, I was riding the subway from the airport to the city centre. The subway line was N 1, loved it. A young man entered the carriage. I could hardly overlook the huge, white letters, blaring from the dark top he was wearing: JACK JONES. Immediately the name of my good friend and fellow driving instructor, Jack Jones came to mind. He had died about two years earlier.
My hostel was very centrally located, not far from the historic centre of Madrid, which I explored on foot for a day and a half. I was reminded of Rome, where architectural treasures were waiting to be photographed around every corner. Outdoor cafes were filled any time of the day with tourists as well as locals, who made use of the great weather. Maybe they wanted to forget their economic problems for an hour or two?
Among the many tourist attractions in Madrid the Royal Palace is most impressive. It has over 2000 rooms, of which 50 can be visited. It's not the official residence of the King, but used often for state banquets and other functions. The Prado Museum is also in the list of most popular attractions. It houses famous masterpieces, among others, by El Greco, Rubens and Goya, who titled one of his paintings - 3rd of May! (That day in 1808 innocent Spaniards were executed by a Napoleonic firing squad.)
The Plaza Mayor, described as one of Europe's most beautiful Squares, is another Madrid magnet for tourists. To just sit in one of the many restaurants, sipping a latte and admiring the arched facades, makes you wish time would stand still.
Beautiful Madrid, Spain
Friday July 13th, 2012 - Plaza de Cibeles
The weather was superb that mid-summer day in Madrid. During my walk near the Puerto del Sol I came across a gorgeous square, one of many filled with outdoor cafes and roundabout traffic. I decided to just sit, watch and take it all in, wishing I could share such perfect moment with my wife back home.
The glass of lemonade, however, was too expensive - 3.50 Euros. But generally ...
... food has become cheaper. I noticed this both in Spain and later in Germany. Shopping that same afternoon in a discount supermarket I paid only marginally more (3.70 Euros) for the following groceries: 2 tomatoes, 1 stick bread, 1 Strawberry milk drink, 100g Ritter Sports chocolate and 200 grams of salami.
Thinking back, never during the five months of travel did I suffer hunger, never lacked anything. God supplied all my needs. (Despite my favourite single digit number being 5, my needs are not at the five-star level.)
The two flights the next day, Saturday 14th, July, took me to across the snow-capped peaks of the French Alps to Zurich. After a short stop, another short flight took us over the Rhein River, above the Black Forest to my final destination, Stuttgart, Echterdingen.
On each of the two flights from Madrid to Echterdingen my active mind played games again. It picked up minor details, and spun them into a yarn, which made sense only to me. It went like this:
In my diary I noted this comment: How do I digest that? Also in my diary are the boarding pass dockets. The flight from Madrid included 210 (2021), the flight from Zurich shows boarding time - 12.10 PM, My seats were Nos were 14 A and (plus 1) 15 A.
Maybe it was boredom, which made me think in codes that day? In the seat pocket in front of me was the Swiss (Airline) Magazine. I skipped over the glossy pages of advertisements, not looking for anything. Until I saw things. Page 15 showed a picture taken above the Thames in London. Only one number showed: 3.
The article in the SWISS Magazine, going from memory, was about the Olympic games in London:
P. 15 Swiss (Airline) Magazine July 2012.
At the time of the above photo, arriving in Germany, I can't recall even having read the name Annette Fischer. However, on the return journey, ten weeks later, again on SWISS, I found an article, featuring the photography of this professional photographer. (Can't recall if it was the same issue of SWISS Magazine).
According to the article, Annette's craft was that she often finds details in the pictures she takes, which she had not seen at the time of taking them. I really identified with this. Wasn't this just what has happened to me for the past 10 years as a writer? Besides our surname, Annette and I have much in common!
One further point among all this Swiss bits: There is a link to my story, going right back to Book 1. The event which I called the launch of my mission, now 13 years old, involved a friend, who I trusted. I had called him Jonathan. Later, in some of my darkest days of my life, I ran away from a mental institution to take refuge at this friend's house. He once had been a pilot for Swissair. (Bk 1, Ch.9 & 14).
And finally, on page 69 of the SWISS (airline) Magazine, a Zurich Hotel was featured. What bugged me about it at first was their address - No. 7 Rennweg. Again, bi-lingual readers will understand. Renn is the German word for running; Weg means Lane or Way. But weg as an adverb means away. Now renn weg becomes - run away!
At Stuttgart's Echterdingen Airport I was met by my close friend Willy, who I had known since my youth. If he thought I was running away from my wife and family, I don't know.
My friend and his wife made me feel very welcome in their modernized, ancient timbered home, not far from the Market Square in the historic part of Esslingen. That evening I walked up the steep, cobble-stone path, past the fortress (the famous Esslingen Burg (see pic.) to visit my brother.
He's two years older and lives alone in a moderate 1970's flat. He does not seem to care about his appearance. His thick, black hair had grown very long, his teeth still needed urgent attention, at least those few remaining outposts still standing. I had intended to take a photograph of my brother, but had forgotten to bring my camera by mistake. (Afterward I thought - this was one of those 'glad it happened' mistakes!).
My beautiful home town - Esslingen / Germany
My walk back from my brother's place took me via the cemetery at St.Bernhard. My father, my mother and my eldest (half) sister, who died of cancer in 1982, aged 40 years, are buried there. It was an exciting few days in mid July, revisiting places from my childhood, meeting old friends and walking the ancient cobble stone streets and lanes.
My hunch that my stay at the Brotherhood in Triefenstein was in jeopardy were realized as I phoned them soon after my arrival. Because they had not heard from me after emailing numerous times, it was assumed that I was no longer interested.
Whatever had happened, I was suddenly confronted with a problem: What now, far from home, no plans, little money and another 70 days before my return flight out of Germany? My good friend Willy and his wife assured me there was no hurry for me to vacate their guest room. I was thankful for that. However, visitors have been likened to fish, after three days it's starting to ... (and my name starts with Fisch ...).
Q: What does a Christian do in such a situation? A: Pray.
So I did. My prayer simply went something like this:
This was about mid-week (on July 18). The answer came two days later. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd be doing what I did for the next two months. God knew best.
HE always does.