Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Poem

A friend posted this on Facebook...I thought I'd post it here as it is lovely. Read it several times...

The Sacrament of Waiting - Macrina Wiederkehr

she celebrated the sacrament of letting go.
First she surrendered her green,
the the orange, yellow, and red
finally she let go of her brown.
Shedding her last leaf
she stood empty and silent, stripped bare.
Leaning against the winter sky
she began her vigil of trust.

Shedding her last leaf
she watched its journey to the ground.
She stood in silence
wearing the color of emptiness,
her branches wondering;
How do you give shade with so much gone?

And then,
the sacrament of waiting began.
The sunrise and sunset watched with tenderness.
Clothing her with silhouettes
they kept her hope alive.

They helped her understand that
her vulnerability,
her dependence and need,
her emptiness
her readiness to receive
were giving her a new kind of beauty.
Every morning and every evening they stood in silence
and celebrated together
the sacrament of waiting.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Things my Husband says that make Me Laugh...

" You know it's a good idea when you think of it for the first time more than once!" After telling me his 'good idea' again...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October in Bucovina

Bela and I spent time in Northern Romania last weekend visiting and praying at some old monasteries in that area. Orthodox churches are incredible to me in their beauty. One isn't allowed to take photos of the insides of the church, but they are completely painted, from floor to ceiling, and typically the highest point of the building is Christ...the idea being (I think) that all others, whether they be saints or disciples or apostles or the mother of Jesus, point and lead the way so that in the end, our eyes are cast upon Him. The awe of it all is breathtaking and, I think, very worshipful.

Bela mentioned that it is amazing to think of all the prayers that have been offered in these churches, especially since some of them are 500 years old. Truly, it is amazing and humbling to think that I am one of many...including those who painted and prayed as they worked (and so worshiped), who have prayed in these places. And even while the details and faces are lost on some of these churches, so will we...and yet our prayers remain.

Monastery at Voronet

Monastery at Moldavita (my favorite)

Monastery at Sucevita
We didn't take many pictures here. There was a tax one needed to pay to take photos of the church and we opted not to pay it.

The drive...
The oh-so-blatantly-communist art was a piece dedicated to those who built the road.

The Monastery at Humor

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Lament for a Son by Nicholas Wolterstorff

I'll post more from this incredible book in later posts, but this for now:

Standing on a hill in Galilee Jesus said to His disciples: Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessings to those who mourn, cheers to those who weep, hail to those whose eyes are filled with tears, hats off to those who suffer, bottoms up to the grieving. How strange, how incredibly strange!
When you and I are left to our own devices, it’s the smiling, successful ones of the world that we cheer. “Hail to the victors!” The histories we write of the odyssey of humanity on earth are the stories of the exulting ones- the nations that won in battle, the businesses that defeated their competition, the explorers who found a pass to the pacific, the scientists whose theories proved correct, the athletes who came in first, the politicians who won their campaigns. We turn away from the crying ones of the world. Our photographers tell us to smile.
“Blessed are those who mourn.” What can it mean? One can understand why Jesus hails those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, why He hails the merciful, why He hails the pure in heart, why He hails the peacemakers, why He hails those who endure under persecution. These are qualities of character which belong to the life of the kingdom. But why does He hail the mourners of the world? Why cheer tears? It must be that mourning is also a quality of character that belongs to the life of His realm.
Who then are the mourners? The mourners are those who have caught a glimpse of God’s new day, who ache with all their being for that day’s coming, and who break out into tears when confronted by its absence. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm of peace there is no one blind and who ache whenever they see someone unseeing. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm there is no one hungry and who ache whenever they see someone starving. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm there is no one falsely accused and who ache whenever they see someone imprisoned unjustly. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm there is no one who fails to see God and who ache whenever they see someone unbelieving. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm there is no one who suffers oppression and who ache whenever they see someone beat down. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm there is no one without dignity and who ache whenever they see someone treated with indignity. They are the ones who realize that in God’s realm of peace there is neither death nor tears and who ache whenever they see someone crying tears over death. The mourners are aching visionaries.
Such people Jesus blesses; He hails them, He praises them, He salutes them. And he gives them the promise that the new day for whose absence they ache will come. They will be comforted.
The Stoics of antiquity said: Be calm. Disengage yourself. Neither laugh nor weep. Jesus says: Be open to the wounds of the world. Mourn humanity’s mourning, weep over humanity’s weeping, be wounded by humanity’s wounds, be in agony over humanity’s agony. But do so in the good cheer that a day of peace is coming. P. 84-86

Monday, October 12, 2009

The sum of all my life be love...

Think through me, thoughts of God, when I have to deal with difficult souls. Let me see in each soul an opportunity to claim the powers of Calvary. Love through me, Love of God, love that hard soul through me. Flow through me, Patience of God, flow over the roughness of that soul even as the sea flows over the rough rocks. Hope through me, Hope of God. O God of Hope, hope afresh in me as I touch that soul again. Let me not remember past disappointments. Let me begin each morning with hope, as Thou dost begin each morning with hope for me, even me.
For love, brave love that ventureth.
For love that faileth not I come,
For love that never wearieth,
Nor findeth burdens burdensome.

I come for hope that springeth green,
And burneth steadfast like a star;
For faith that pierceth through the seen
To things eternal, things that are.

O Love, that lightest all my ways,
Within, without, below, above,
Flow through the minutes of my days,
The sum of all my life be love.

Amy Carmichael

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Things my husband says that make me laugh...

He said: Have a'll make you feel better...(short pause)...I didn't say that, it's a line from a movie.
Thing is, even if it wasn't his line, it made me feel better because I laughed and found I didn't a cookie after all.
He usually knows just the right thing to say...whether it's his line or somebody else came up with it.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Birthday Photos

My birthday was almost 6 months ago, but I'm playing catch-up, so please indulge me as I show some pictures we took. We went across the Dunube on a walk/hike that ended with a picnic (and me running to the bushes because I was sick). Still, it was a beautiful day and a sweet memory...

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Running to Rome

Bela's grandpa told us the story
of Peter running away from Rome.
And as Peter ran away,
he saw Jesus running to Rome.
"Jesus!" he called, "Where are you going?"
"I am running to Rome to die!"
And so, Peter turned and ran after Him,
back to Rome,
where he would die, according to legend,
hanging upside down on a cross.
"I am not worthy to die as my Lord," he said.

"What must that have been like for Peter-
to run back to Rome to die?" Bela's grandpa asked.
He turned-
He ran-
he did not walk
he did not hesitate
he did not wait
he ate no last meal:
He ran back to Rome.
To die.
And on grandpa's face
I saw joy.

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