Bubbles and Queen Nefertiti

“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the works Thy hand hath made…”

Last week I found myself sitting on a park bench in Berlin. I was gathering my strength to visit some museums there in one of the world’s greatest concentrations of culture in one place – the so-called Museum Island where many of humanity’s treasures are gathered.

But it was not the contents of these that caught my attention It was the chap on the lawn with a big pool of soapy stuff blowing those huge balloons with two sticks. He was surrounded by a gang of children gazing in amazement as the enormous bubbles wobbled off up into the heavens. Many were desperate to have a go, and the frenzy of excitement hit new heights. So here we were, surrounded by the priceless achievements of the human race – but the kids just wanted the bubbles, their faces and voices capturing the “awesome wonder” of what air can do with soap.

An hour later I found myself inside face-to-face with one of the most famous sculptures in the world – the head of Nefertiti. This limestone carving of the Queen of Egypt, wife of Akhenaten, from about 1350 BC, stops you in your tracks.

“Perfection” an American lady behind me said. Indeed, you cannot help but marvel at the beauty of the Egyptian queen and the skill of the sculptor.

Then I suddenly remembered the laughing kids outside. In front of Nefertiti, as when faced with a stunning landscape like the Rockies, we can be taken to a different place. May we never lose our childlike “awesome wonder”, the excitement deep in our human spirit when we consider God’s works, either in nature itself or through human gifts – or even in soapy water in a Berlin park.

Fr Matthew