Equipping Your Reimagine Journey
“The collapse of the Wall is proof that dreams come true, and continues to offer hope wherever freedom and human rights are threatened or trampled on.” (German Chancellor Angel Merkel)
Sunday, March 9th, marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the event that heralded the collapse of the communist system. More than 300,000 participated in the celebration. Eight thousand helium balloons stretching across nine miles where the Wall had been were released into the night sky. Tributes were given to the 138 people who were killed over the years trying to cross the Wall and about 1,000 more who died attempting to cross the 856-mile border between what were then East and West Germany.
The Wall, which had not only divided Berlin but also symbolized the "iron curtain" imposed by Communism on the countries where it was the rule of government and society, had stood for 28 years. The Eastern Bloc claimed that the Wall was erected to protect its population from fascist elements conspiring to prevent the “will of the people” in building a socialist state in East Germany. In reality, the Wall prevented emigration and defection from East Germany and the communist Eastern Bloc during the post-World War II period. Eventually, because so many people were fleeing East Germany by crossing into West Berlin, the Soviets had the Wall built.
In the closed state of East Germany, the Stasi (secret police) became one of the most hated and feared institutions of the communist government. Infiltrating every strata of society, they developed a system where children spied on parents, pupils on teachers, friends on friends, and spouses on spouses. Informers betrayed neighbors, employers, lovers, and pastors. Jurgen Fuchs, the writer, described his country as "a landscape of lies." The extent of those lies and was discovered in the Stasi files in Berlin after the Wall came down.
In 1989, as Communism was collapsing in the East, communist authorities gave in to mounting pressure and opened the gates of the Wall, relaxing travel restrictions. The Wall was removed in November 1989.
Berliners and other people around the world were surprised by the fall of the Wall. Most had thought of it as a permanent barrier enforced by Soviet might. When the above picture of the Brandenburg Gate was taken in June 1989, most people did not expect the Wall to fall in their lifetime. Only five months later, people were dancing on it.
Evil has often seemed to overwhelm much of the world…but it is good to remember that God sets limits to human injustice. The despicable beheadings carried out by ISIS are only faint echoes of the heinous wrongs of the 20th century—Stalin’s rule of terror resulting in the death of millions of his own citizens, the genocide of the Armenians under the Turks, the holocaust under Nazism. Someday the Almighty will balance the books—evil will be punished, oppression ended. This may not happen in our lifetime, but we can rest assured God will keep His Word. Heaven on earth is more than a dream—it is a divine promise that will come true.
When time is over, man’s inhumanity to man will give way to God’s goodness in eternity. There’ll be dancing in the streets of the new Jerusalem.
“When you hear the priests give one long blast on the rams’ horns, have all the people shout as loud as they can. Then the walls of the town will collapse.” [Joshua 6:5 NLT]
Johnny R. Almond
Christian preacher and writer
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity