Monday, September 8, 2008

of hope.

On the train today I read the first few months of Bonhoeffer's 'Letters and Papers From Prison', with his essay 'After Ten Years' at the start. It's making me think. I'm reading it for my Twentieth Century Politics and Culture essay, on the effect of Nazism on Protestant Christianity in Germany. Was excited to find this question on the list.

I'm being challenged by his letters. Some of his ideas take some thinking through; but the thing that is striking me is the challenge of maturity that hopes, trusts, and actively freely chooses obedience that rests completely on dependence. Sometimes we can have such an ideal view of how life and goodness should be, but we forget to be truly, deeply established in the essential goodness of what life in God always is--so there's weariness, disillusionment and weakened resolve where the world groans in its fallenness. Sometimes we obsessively shelter ourselves from discomfort, or engage with it only out of fear. I want to live more full of joy and awareness of the unfailing, unconditional affirmation of God's love and support of me in all I need, of his understanding and compassionate sovereignty over the things I'll face, so that I can choose to embrace his call in each moment with resources that I need not worry are my own, and with courage that knows both reality and promise very well. Sometimes I feel fretful or discouraged, but this is a habit with no real basis, and one that it will be safe to learn to discard. I love how close a companion our God is when we walk with him.

Walking home just now, the afternoon was absolutely beautiful. I'd forgotten this half of the year, and have fallen completely in love with it all over again.
When April’s sweet showers drench March’s dry roots,
And bathe every vine in the power
Of the rainy liqueur that brings forth as its fruit
The blossom and bloom of the flower;
When the West Wind as well, with his fragrant bouquet,
Breathes life through the woodlands and heather
Into budding green leaves, and the young sun’s halfway
Through the Ram, bringing warmth to the weather;
And small songbirds twitter melodious tunes
(For so nature pricks them to revel)
And sleep open-eyed by the light of the moon,
Then folks feel a longing to travel...

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