the following has been least partially copied from my other blog: brendahey.blogspot.com
In anticipation of my father-in-law's bike trip to Rome, I borrowed the book, Fietsen met God
(biking with God) from my in-laws. It tells the story of three women
who made a pilgrimage to Rome: one a Catholic, another an Anglican
priest, and the third Reformed (vrijgemaakt - Canadian Reformed).
I had planned to read it slowly, so that I could have a picture in my
head of what my father-in-law was experiencing. But I just found it so
fascinating that I couldn't help but continue reading! (Unfortunately,
it hasn't been translated into English).
It tells not only of the physical challenge of the adventure but also of
the exploration of three different expressions of the Christian faith. Although Monic could handle the physical
challenge of it, the other two both had moments when it was too much for
them. And while Monic had expected the physical exertion to be the
challenge, she soon discovered that this paled in comparison to the
challenge of learning how to wait patiently for the others.
The most fascinating part of the book for me was the desire of the women
to discover what their faith traditions had in common - to explore
their ecumenicity. It was interesting to see that it wasn't simply
doctrines that were different - it was a complete manner of looking at
the world that was different. And it was here that Agnes, the one from
the Reformed Church, stuck out for me: her stubborn determination to
search for the truth and to place that truth only in what the Bible says
(and ignoring both the mystery of the faith and years of church
tradition). And her scorn for relics and holy water (hocus pocus) caused friction. And it made me somewhat disappointed to be from that tradition. It was obvious that faith isn't simply what you believe, but also how you believe.
And yet, despite the differences in each of the women, it was obvious
from the beginning that they needed each other. And learning how to need
each other, while both acknowleding and honouring the differences, is a
challenge - not only for a bike trip - but also anytime different
Christian traditions come together.