Friday, October 19, 2012

Oh How God Speaks!

"God will see to it that the man who finds him in his earthly happiness and thanks him for it does not lack reminder that earthly things are transient, that is is good for him to attune his heart to what is eternal, and that sooner or later there will be times when he can say in all sincerity, 'I wish I were home.'" -Bonhoeffer, Letters from Prison 

So I am sitting in a coffee shop reading Bonhoeffer's letters from prison and I am just in meshed in this reading. I feel like I am getting this intimate peek into his life and his struggles and he is so real it starts to feel like he has written these letters to me. I resonate with his pain, his sorrow, his optimism and his tiredness. I become sad with him and hopeful with him. 

And as I am reading these letters I just start to have these aha! moments. 

As he talks about separation from loved ones and times of war I stop and pray for my friend Kyle who is in Afghanistan, and for the loved ones who I know are missing him so dearly. And as he writes intimately to his best friend I stop and I praise God for giving me kindred spirits too, for the friends that are far away, yet with whom we still desire to share every detail and struggle. And as he writes about his struggle to console his fellow prisoners after bombings, the lack of words he has when they look for comfort, my heart cries out "I know! I know what you mean!" For my girls on the rez are hurting and their pain is so deep and so real and I have no words. For one cannot explain away sorrow and pain. There are no words I can say that will make the people that have died come back and live. And so as Bonhoeffer writes I just get it again, that aha! moment. And I suddenly know the one thing I can do for my rez sister. I know the one thing that won't fix things but that momentarily may make her smile. 

In response to distress: "So I don't try to explain it, and I think that is the right way to begin, although it's only a beginning, and I very seldom get beyond it. I sometimes think that real comfort must break in just as unexpectedly as the distress." -Bonhoeffer

And I smile. Because years ago a godly man was imprisoned by a Nazi government and his struggles and words to his loved ones, his tries of comfort for his family and his painful truths to his friends, are speaking the same truths to me today in a world quite different from the one he was in. 
And I praise God because Bonhoeffer never knew his letters would be influential in my life but God knew when those words were written that so many years later there would be a girl in California, sitting in a coffee shop with her friends, reading them and chewing and swallowing every word. 

"When you wake up in the morning, may God strengthen your heart and keep sadness from being in it; may he show each of you, each day, tasks that are worth doing...may he smooth out all your ways and bring you together again happily; and may he also grant me the day when I see you both again. God bless you and all of us. From my heart. Your Dietrich" 
-An excerpt from a letter to his friend on his leaving for military duty. I just found it to be such a lovely sentiment. 

2 comments:

  1. ...and God knew too...that one day there would be a little housewife sitting in riverdale ga reading the words of the girl sitting in the coffee shop in calafornia...and the housewife would be going "aha" too...words connect us...and that is why the Word came...i love you elaine/ccww

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  2. ...and God knew too...that one day there would be a little housewife sitting in riverdale ga reading the words of the girl sitting in the coffee shop in calafornia...and the housewife would be going "aha" too...words connect us...and that is why the Word came...i love you elaine/ccww

    ReplyDelete