December 22, 2018

Miss Brown Goes to Washington

It has been too long since I last visited Washington DC so it was a joy to go back and explore all of the cherished, historic landmarks with my loved ones. After a long and exhausting college semester, it was a delightful relief to not have to drive seven hours all the way home from Virginia to New Jersey like I normally do. Instead, I drove four hours and met my family halfway in DC where my talented sister had the amazing opportunity to be part of the world’s largest science conference. It was a joy to be able to support her at such a milestone in her life. 

Riding into the nation’s capital all by myself was pretty surreal and overwhelming if I’m being honest. Thankfully, it only took ten minutes of my GPS malfunctioning and being utterly lost until I was able to track down our hotel. After our first night of much-needed rest, my family and I spent our second day going wherever we pleased.

The first place we wanted to visit was the Museum of the Bible which recently opened last year in the fall. As believers, the museum was naturally the highest priority on our itinerary. We loved how the museum educated us about the narrative, history, and impact of the Bible in many creative and tangible ways. 

One of my favorite exhibits at the museum was the Hebrew Bible Experience. Seeing a depiction of the burning bush that Moses once beheld and walking through towering stripes of blue as if we were the ancient Israelites crossing the Red Sea brought the Bible to life for us in ways that we wouldn’t normally experience. We were impressed by the surrounding screens in the museum elevators which provided captivating, modern-day views of Israel.

I was actually able to visit the Museum of the Bible when it first opened last November, and I had the privilege of seeing the new musical, Amazing Grace, performed at their World Stage Theater.

Prior to the performance, I had already formed an attachment to the musical since Liberty University's School of Music (where I attend) was chosen by the musical's own founder, Christopher Smith, to be the first school to sing a chorale medley of the songs. It was exciting to get to meet Mr. Smith and hear him tell his story about composing the musical.

Not only Amazing Grace's soundtrack is amazing, but the real and raw story of John Newton being a former slave trader humbled by God into an abolitionist is awe-inspiring and full of hope. The musical definitely leaves you with an encouraged spirit and a heart more eager to serve the Lord.

If there’s one overarching lesson that the Museum of the Bible offers, it’s the realization that the modern world (at least most of the world today) is beyond blessed to have the Bible so easily accessible and understandable. The lengths that Christian saints went to in order to translate the Bible into the common people’s language is truly inspiring. As a person who often selfishly asks for God to supernaturally speak to me, it’s crucial that I remember how He lovingly gave me His living and breathing Word to speak over me, instruct me, and comfort me everyday, whenever I’m willing to open it up and read it. I can be an active part of the royal priesthood as described in 1 Peter 2:9 by reading the Holy Book on my own and in my native tongue. How generous of God to place us in an era where the completed Bible is within our grasp!

After absorbing as much of the museum as we could, we stopped for lunch at the Capital Grille. I ordered a grilled salmon with cooked vegetables which was very delicious and fulfilling. 

Then, my family and I strolled around the National Mall and took in the views of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument on opposite sides. 

It was awesome to have learned from the Museum of the Bible that at the top of the Washington Monument is the Latin inscription: “Laus Deo” meaning “Praise be to God!” This means the highest point of the most influential city in the world gives praise to God alone! How awesome! It’s also fascinating to learn that the original designer, Pierre Charles l’Enfant, created the shape of the cross by where he constructed the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, the Jefferson Memorial, and the White House (click here to see the bird’s eye view of the cross). George Washington’s prayer to God for protection and favor over our nation surely proves how America was founded on the humble recognition of and homage to our Holy Maker.

My favorite monument to visit was the Lincoln Memorial. It was exciting to see Old Abe back on his familiar marble chair again. Last time I visited the memorial was when I was on my high school chamber choir tour. We sang in front of Lincoln on a very cold day five years ago. I remember it being so cold outside that we didn’t even spend much time looking at Lincoln, but hopped back in our coach where it was nice and warm as soon as we were able to haha!

I almost felt as giddy as Mr. Smith looking up at Lincoln and reading the inscription of his famous Gettysburg Address on the left wall. Of course, my family and I had to watch the movie: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” while we stayed in DC. It was only appropriate to do so! My parents suggested that I title this blogpost based on the movie name which I thought was a brilliant idea! It’s definitely one of my favorite movies.

The next day was my sister’s science conference, so we spent most of the morning and afternoon supporting her with her bioluminescent dinoflagellates presentation. My mom and I spent some of our time walking down the different aisles trying to understand the scientific projects, but most of the posters displayed words that were simply beyond our realm of understanding so we eventually quit. Can’t say we didn’t try, right? Haha anyways, I’m proud of how well my sister did with her project, and I’m happy that she got the amazing opportunity to present her findings to the public!

After the conference, we enjoyed a quiet 20-minute walk through Washington to pick up our car. I say "quiet," because it was the one time that the streets weren't very busy, right after lunchtime. Along our walk, I spotted a Pret a Manger and was able to convince my family to let me stop for an açaí bowl there. It’s one of my favorite cafes so I’m glad that I was able to track it down right before we left for home!

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to see some pictures of my DC trip with my family. It was an exciting and eventful few days that I will always cherish. Not to mention that it was fun to see so many Christmas trees and festive lights brightening up our nation’s beautiful capital!

I’ll be releasing one more blogpost before Christmas comes, so stay tuned. Have a relaxing rest of the weekend!


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