Serendipitous moments are to be treasured. C. S. Lewis expressed it beautifully in his autobiographical title “Surprised by Joy.” Though I am taking it in the original sense, rather than in the double meaning that it held for him.
In 2009 Karen and I flew to Holland to visit our daughter and her family in Nieuw Vennep, (near Hoofddorp) where they were serving as missionaries. They showed us around Amsterdam and together we explored Leiden. After five days in the Netherlands, we took them with us on a hop over the Channel to London.
Well before this trip we had each plotted out the sites we wanted to see and the places we wanted to visit. On my list was the Imperial War Museum.
On the day it was slated, the kids slept in as they had other plans for the morning. So just Karen and myself walked down to the Pimlico station and took the tube over to Lambeth. The museum was a short jaunt from that station.
From the large naval guns outside in front to the other big items in the main hall (tiger-tanks, and spitfires and buzzbombs, oh my) it was all rather amazing. Being interested in most things historical I was in sixth heaven. We wandered the trenches of WWI and the bomb shelters of WWII, and a special exhibit that dealt with the experience of the British children during the Blitz.
And then the other smaller exhibits that went on and on (the clandestine section had almost too much to take in). But in all of that I stumbled upon this:
The headdress and robes of T E Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia.