Sola Gratia

Who doesn’t love getting gifts?

 “For by grace you have been saved through faith.                                                          And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…”   ~Ephesians 2: 8-9

Anytime I receive a gift, it is not my doing.

If I earned it, it’s called a wage.

If I deserved it, it’s called an honorarium.

Being Grandma’s favorite means getting stuff the others don’t. It’s those secret conversations that leave you holding an heirloom, an extra batch of cookies, or a crisp hundred dollar bill.

What’s incredible about Grandma’s favor is that you didn’t do anything to get it.

Well, nothing you know about.  Face it.

Grandma’s grace has more to do with who you are than what you are doing.

Sure, you thought it was because you are the first one in the family to go to college…or the only grand-kid who ever goes to church… but Grandmas are far more intuitive than that. The discernment of that denizen of older age sees more with her aging eyes than your pitifully acute, young eyes ever possibly could.

Grandma sees the person you are, the one you are becoming, and who you may yet be.

So, there is this gift given.  It is a sign of relationship; an expression that is both parts knowing and loving you.

A gift has nothing to do with justice. Juries deliver verdicts. Judges hand out sentences. Grandmas give gifts.

Grace is a gift. It is the favor of God bestowed for no other reason than your actually being known and loved by God.

Grandma gives you an heirloom; you treasure the legacy; preserve it and pass along its story to others.

Grandma favors you with a handmade sweater; you wear it proudly.

Grandma grants you a special batch of homemade cookies; you gobble them with yummy noises and grunts of appreciation between mouthfuls.

Grace is a gift from God. The gift says everything about the gift giver, but it is also saying something about the one receiving the gift.

It says you are loved.

And we say “I love you back” by what we do with the gift.

Gifts, after all, aren’t meant to be left in packages with pretty bows.

Gifts are given to be opened; put to use; acted on; employed.

Grace is a gift.

The question was never what did you do to deserve that?

The question has always been, what are you going to do with that?

 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.  ~1 Peter 4:10

 

 

Sola Scriptura

“…and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3:15-17

Getting back to my faith roots.

Scripture was my first love.  In the concrete walled halls of a small Baptist church school I fell in love with story.  Bible was the first class of the day. Memory verses were important, but it was the flannel graph figures whose lives resurrected against a velvet gray each day who captivated my imagination: from the great patriarchs of the Hebrews to the socially disenfranchised who found both mercy and healing in Y’shua‘s words and touch.  Some heard the stories and came away angry or confused at the cruel, punishing deity on one side of the book and the Utopian idealism of the ragged rabbi of Galilee depicted in the other.  Not me.  I heard the epic in a different way.

Always being smaller, slower, and socially awkward John the Evangelist dialed straight into this introvert’s frequency.

What will we play?  My words dismissed by the group as if unspoken.

When the Alpha would speak, play began.

We played the flute for you, but you did not dance. – Luke 7:32

Say again, John, all after “He was in the world…but the world did not know Him.”

He came to His own…but His own… did not accept him. –John 1:11

The jealous protective fiery response of the deeply loving, ever rejected God begins with a deep wound which could not be reconciled; a bustling playground vacated at the sound of the approaching happy-excited running-steps.

 When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.

God called to the Man: “Where are you?”    –Genesis 3:8-9

So my mind was attuned to the God of the Bible who gives in grandiose ways and protects by exaggerated means, just to convey affection to those who seem unreachable and unresponsive.  And yet I remain keenly aware of the unresponsive ones who likewise find God unreachable and non-responsive; repulsed by the over-the-top gestures which seem to erupt out of nowhere with little to no context.

No one understands the Autistic God of the Bible quite as I have.

So I did not find the extravagant act of God: being found in appearance as a man, self-humbled, self-limited, becoming obedient to the point of suffering humiliation, even death, on a cross, such a difficult thing to grasp.  The words of the cross echoing the same confused cry spoken through creation and prophet since the world began: Love me!

The God-breathed text of the old covenant whispers the same audacious promise God speaks from the cross. It is as much a promise for us as it is a promise God made to Himself: that one day God will no longer be rejected- no longer alone.

Loved, and Loving, in eternal reciprocity.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” -Revelation 21:3-4

Broken

Mary arrived early at the tomb to clean up the broken body;

wrap it with soft cloth and spice.

Jesus forbad it.

       Hands off.        Don’t touch.

Broken punctured twisted bloodied naked shredded skin

A glorified body

presented to God in all its brokenness

visible to friends: see my hands, my feet, my side

Don’t hold on to me, Mary.

The world must see me just like this.

You cannot clean him up, Mary.

Let’s all stop trying to wash away the blood

and spice up the body broken.

Lest we all start believing the lie that people are basically good…

That the arc of human nature bends toward justice…

It is the disfigured figure of innocence savagedly razed to life

that testifies against the human race: a depraved race.

Holy Love embodied walks on calloused heels searching out the concentration camps of the soul:

unblinded eyes see the self-haters forgiven who embrace the leprosy-free as they dance with the lame-no-more.

Only one punishment to fit this crime against humanity:

Crucify Him.

No, Mary, you cannot clean him up.

      We must see Him as he is

as we made him

         or we will never believe it is true –

                        in denial

that we are the darkness we fear

               disguised as angels of light.

BrokenBody

Creator of the universe,
you made the world in beauty,
and restore all things in glory
through the victory of Jesus Christ.
We pray that, wherever your image is still disfigured
by poverty, sickness, selfishness, war and greed,
the new creation in Jesus Christ may appear in justice, love, and peace,
to the glory of your name. Amen.*

*Revised Common Lectionary, Vanderbilt Divinity Library (online)

Source: http://lectionary.library.vanderbilt.edu/prayers.php?id=87

The Dare

It is the brave hearts and bold minds who test God with a dare.

If you are real, come to my life in a real way.

So we pray with boldness that the healing presence would be revealed.

We accept that life is a gift; that health is a blessing;

that this new day is filled with awesome potential;

that we all have the capacity to bring something new and unique and good into the world we share.

lifting fog

Let the realness remind me to be kind and to be patient with people: not just the ones who love me but those who work with me too.

Let the realness teach my eyes to see all the beauty I ignore in anger

and teach my ears to hear that silent longing of my own soul.

Let the realness reveal you, God. Let this be a good day.

Reveal your healing presence; reveal goodness; reveal love.

They have been hidden from my sight for too long.

Amen

Who is that man?

…She became his wife; and he loved her… ~Genesis 24:67

The multiple hats on this pastor’s head argue over who is the greatest among them.

The Teaching Pastor wants to take this narrative about Abraham’s servant and the search for Isaac’s wife and sliced it up into a 3 part sermon:  1) Prepare  2) Pray  3) Wait.  Prepare by gathering as much information as you can; know what your goal is; explore alternative approaches; define unacceptable outcomes and failure so you have permission to pull the plug if it is going off course. Pray for God’s direction and look for clear indications that God is working to avoid the pitfall of succeeding in your own resourcefulness alone.  Unless the Lord builds the house…  Wait:  patience is the hardest part. Expect that God will be faithful and put it all together at just the right time and in the right way.  But, like Abraham’s servant, you must be prepared, prayed up, and watching for the hand of God to move ready to act when God provides the answer!

An inner Spiritual Director questions whether this is “unhelpful” and wants to let the passage speak for itself: push the Patriarchs aside and give room for Rebekah, this amazing woman, to speak out of her own story.  The virtues of strength and generosity are hers.  She is decisive.  She is beautiful. Her name is often translated: captivating but that only tells half the story.  Literally, Rebekah means “tied down”.  The connotation is positive.  Not a yoke of slavery or submission, this “tied down” means the important things are secured.  Cattle have been tended and won’t wander off.  The family’s goods are strapped down and won’t be lost in the sudden storm winds of the desert. Rebekah is a woman with a strong handle on things.  It gets done and done right when Rebekah is around.  Maybe that’s why her mother and her brother tried to keep her around for another week or two following her wedding proposal. Can you say more about that, Rebekah?

The Chaplain hears something else in the passage.  Isaac is comforted after his mother’s death. Sarah has died and Isaac is alone.  Practically an only child, Abraham is a workaholic absentee father. Isaac is, perhaps 40-ish by now, managing one of his father’s field offices.

Abraham and Sons Securities and Livestock, LLC. —Negev Branch

This must be a hard time for you, Isaac. How has the loss of your mother affected your work? Where do you see God in your life at this time?

The Student of Christ in me hesitantly raises a hand to half mast and wonders in a much too humble voice if Isaac’s dedication to meditation demands some attention.  Rebekah, in the original language, falls off her camel when she sees this man praying. Among his attributes of looks and wealth, is a developed prayer life equally attractive?

Then I call the class to attention.  Voices are silenced for a meaningful pause.

I ask this question:

Isn’t it enough to simply enjoy a love story?

Does it really need to be more than that?

God has brought a strong, beautiful woman to a lonely, godly man in a culture where marriages had more to do with clan preservation and consolidation of wealth.

Two distant lives become two hearts melting into one.

And no one noticed:

Right in the middle of the busyness of the business of religion, clan politics, financial transactions and work related stress

God wrote a love story.

…and they lived happily ever after…

 

Dangerous Love

Image

A Hebrew Bible in dust at rest in a library of a Christian University somewhere in the Midwest teased me with these words in its foreword. A Jewish work by Jewish scholars for a Jewish readership, the editor conveyed the exhaustive research which informed the translation. Illusory of the effort was a brief statement about the story of Abraham and Isaac. Some primitive manuscripts relayed a slightly different tale than the one which came later; the one traditionally given. In its original telling, Isaac dies but then is resurrected by God and given back to Abraham.

I cannot un-remember it. Not because I am Christian and this telling is a remarkable archetype, helpful to my own belief. But because of how it is unhelpful. Because the first question I am often asked about this dangerous patriarchal myth is, “Did God really expect Abraham to kill Isaac?” Like a newly discovered crime scene, rabbis, pastors, scholars and skeptics race to the scene with apologetic musings and condemning commentary. Let’s not make their mistake. Let’s not be in a hurry to rush in on this scene only to presuppose answers to questions only Abraham, Isaac and God can tell.

There is a harsh, uncomfortable reality in this tale that will be lost on the majority of soft thinking, spongy-worded spiritual people among us. Those who find it hard to comprehend how it is that conflict is essential to peace,or that love emerges through judgment and disciple, and not the absence of it, are among those who may be fated to forever view this patriarchal myth as if through the wide eyes of the ingenue archaeologist looking for the first time at strange hieroglyphs.

When I was a soldier we may have all said, “We’re all the same color here. We’re all green.” Actuality was that a caste system of competence separated us. Clearly defined lines. Support personnel were one caste. Another is combat support. Combat Arms was a little higher up the food chain, but don’t think that being an Infantry soldier made you elite. Among the Eleven Bravo (11B) military specialty is a class system. Each one rising only to one’s own level of incompetence. Above infantry were Rangers and Paratroop types who wore wings. Hybrids enjoyed special status: Airborne Ranger. Green Berets were more elite but it was an exceptional class of soldier who became the Special Forces soldier. Yes, we’re all green here, but no one casually compared the supply clerk or the mess sergeant to the class of elite soldier.

These soldiers were given something special, only to have it taken away.

These soldiers were tested more often, more severely, because more was riding on their success.

The nation entrusted more to them. The military has just cause to demand more.

On a mission, they would often be alone or small in number so their loyalty and resolve, confidence and competence had to be beyond proven.

So as you read this tale of incomprehensible demands on God’s first prophet, ask this also:

Is Abraham given the fierce, horrific task as a test because God has risked everything on this one man? Do we super focus on the trial? Is it better, perhaps, to simply salute the elite soldier; regard him as one we might aspire to be?

Carefully read the narrative. Study its words. It will rough you up a bit.

Maybe it is a story better handled by callouses than soft hands; better carried by spiritually war-torn veterans than academics.

Neither God nor Abraham nor Isaac are defined by this trial. Yet all are proven by it.

In Abraham’s mental, spiritual, and physical resolve we see a special forces elite who can remain present in each excruciating moment. He is not seduced by yesterday’s promise. He is not distracted by an imagined future.

Here I am, my son.”

Here I am, [my Lord].”

It is only in this moment the providence of God will be seen.

In fear and fire, it is only the moment we can manage.

The Love of God is dangerous; exhilarating; inviting us- driving us- to higher eschalons of trust.

Abraham is still teaching us what it means to walk together with God into a dangerous love relationship.

John 15:13 1 John 4: 18 Romans 5:8

Why Are You Weeping? Whom Are You Seeking?

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John 20:12-16

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

and she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying.  And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.  Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” Supposing Him to be the gardener, she  said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”  Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” (which means, Teacher).

Why are you weeping?

Why are you weeping?

Each tear has a name, you know, for every pain

every loss, each hurt; all fears.

Those tears are recorded stories.

What do they say —

about love lost

or

life lost?

Mary, why are you weeping?

She was set free, you know.

Delivered.

Rescued

from a gang of dark spirits.

Now her Savior is gone.

Will they return?  What happens if they do? Who will defend her then?

Why are you weeping?

Well,

this tear is for fear of the dark, and the things that move in it.

The one trickling close behind swells with the anger born from abuse:  by men; being used by men.

From the other eye streaks one for the ladies.  

You know the ones.

They begin as mean girls and grow up to be wicked women

whose words bruise deeper than any man’s hand.

Why are you weeping?

For years lost

and

deep regrets

Not just two tears — but a tear for every lost year and every guilty regret.

Tears fall the more; falling still.

Mary weeps till her face glistens; bathed in the anguish of

depression

oppression

shunning

and

hate.

O why are you weeping, Mary?

And not one

Not nearly one tear

but a crowd of tears welling up into those crying eyes

for the One that was lost.

He once spoke of a lost lamb

worth more than 99.

Who knew He would become the Lamb that was Lost.

5,000 tears gather like a crowd in a valley

hungry

to hear the words of life pour from his lips.

Mary, why are you weeping?

For his smile.  Those eyes.  A voice resounding over sea storms

or

whispering life across miles to a child who has died.

Mary, why are you weeping?

For a life in shambles.

Never did anything right. Always.

Always

the wrong place

the wrong time

the wrong friends

the wrong side of the tracks

the wrong choices

Mary, why are you weeping?

He was her closest and truest friend.  The best of us.  He deserved a proper burial.

Don’t        

you        

understand?

It was the best we could do.  

           Sabbath was about to begin.  

This tomb was close.

           It was free.

We had no where else to take him.

She wanted to do right, for His sake.

Couldn’t even wrap him right.

Couldn’t even bathe him in fragrance.

          Always doing it wrong.

Here now, to finish the job

He’s gone.

Why are you weeping?

Do you know where he is?

Why are you weeping?

I’ll take him away!

          Why are you weeping?

                          Whom are you seeking?

Mary,

Whom are you seeking?

Relationships aren’t crutches.

They are Leg 1 and Leg 2 that gives the power to

stand up straight

move forward

jump for joy

But you have to know who it is you’re looking for… and why.

Whom are you seeking?

Some search for a lawyer type.  Someone who will defend and justify even our bad behavior.

Some look for a policeman.  Someone to enforce rules on them because they can’t police themselves.

But some,

some are searching for a helper… a teacher… a guide.

and will settle for a “gardener” —  a custodian of the dead spaces and dark places.

Someone who can offer directions, knows the markers, understands the graveyard layout.

Whom are you seeking?

Convinced that no one understands.

Sure that somebody got here just ahead of you—

taking what is rightfully yours

hiding it

abusing it

losing it

Just whom are you seeking?

If you’ve taken him away  — tell me where!

A gardener knows his way around these

tombs

Markers of forgotten memories

Resting places of lost loves and lives lost

Those sad, stone faces of dreams that died too soon.

Whom are you seeking?

Crying over an empty tomb.  What will a gardener do?

Or

Does your Hope demand something more?

A substance for Faith; Love actually:  that is, a real love that never quits

and can’t be extinguished by

mistakes or immaturity

not by torture

not even by Death.

Whom are you seeking?

Mary is here.

And He is there — standing just behind.

Blinded.

A tear drenched, swollen eyed blindness.

Sobbing over a persisting pain of the present moment.

Today’s tears prevent her from seeing clear — from seeing Him

from seeing the promise of Life more abundant

standing near

standing there — just an arm’s length away.

Whom are you seeking?

Would it surprise you to learn that the One for whom you are searching

is searching for you

“Mary”

Why do you weep?

       Whom do you seek?

Our Hope is in Him

Jesus

Through whom we are introduced, by Faith, into Grace

St. Paul — Romans 5:5

And Hope does not disappoint because the Love of God has been poured out

over us…through us…within us…by the Holy Spirit

And while we were still helpless

Christ assumed our helpless state

and by the great Mercy of God He has caused us to be born again to a living Hope

through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

St. Peter — 1 Peter

Some say “a crutch”.

I say two legs

to stand on

two legs

to move forward in faith

two legs to jump for joy!

We find Joy in suffering.

Not because we are crazy or lie to ourselves.

But because hell moments reveal the face of Grace.

Through red, swollen eyes we will see one we mistook for a gardener

becomes the one who saves;

turns out to be the one we’ve been looking for all along.

Faith, tested by hardship and trouble and pain is purer, stronger stuff.

And though you have not seen Him, you Love Him,

and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him,

you dance with an

inexplicable

inexpressible

irrepressible

Joy

Full of Glory!            Full of Glory!           Full of Glory!

Your tears are mourning blessed to comfort

Blessed are those, too, who seek, for they will find!

—Or should I say, He found you, weeping and seeking —

The Soul saving One

Jesus.

Messiah.

To Kiss the Face of God

To be loved is one thing.

To be certain of love is something else.

Words,

Gestures:

Impotent.

Useless.

unless —

linked to a

  Truth.sunrising_holdinghands

Actuality.

Something so reliable it goes without saying:

like, “The Sun will rise tomorrow.”

 

Can I know that God loves me?

More –

Can I know that God loves me now?

God Gives me daily bread. Essentials provided.

Nice. But easily placed under the column heading: moral obligation

What about gifts?  God’s favor and blessing!

Sweet. But if it comes from the surplus of your power, resources, time…

it is only a hand-me-down of the forgotten, easily discarded at the outskirts of

your heart

your passion

your self

Well, what do you want from me?

Something that doesn’t part from you easily

Something that costs you something

Puts you at risk

Awkward

Endangered

A statement that I or they are worth the counter-intuitive, reckless, self denying

action

How do I know God loves me?

That God loves me even now?

Communion.  The  Lord’s Supper.  

True food.  True drink.

A broken body.

A life laid down.

Bleeding.

Broken.

Humiliated – publicly.

The sacrificial

act

of God’s unrelenting love for you

God loves  you.  Loves you now.

In this moment

this same crisis, failure, unlovable-worthless-wreck-of-a-life moment.

 

Don’t think too much on it:
this gesture that embodies the act

Just close your eyes

and receive it…

By receiving communion, we lean into the One who is already leaning in toward us.

God kisses.

We are kissed

with a sacrament that speaks louder than words.

 

communion

 

Transplant

NOW you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth.  Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,  and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him—  a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.  ~Colossians 3:8-11

Put aside?

What?  All my best weapons?  I keep those for personal defense.

It’s quite a collection.

I have them because I’ve been hurt.

I won’t be hurt again.

Hurt people hurt others.

I know just how to

Fire a warning shot.

Graze the skin.

Disable.

Shoot to kill.

Anger, wrath, malice, slander, abusive speech… 

These are the energy sources for weapons of mass

keep-you-far-away-from-me-so-you-can-never-hurt-me-(again)

destruction

Do you think you will talk me into disarmament so easily?

The Grace of Growing Up

There is a good reason my past is located in my history.

God put all the hurt behind me:

in my thirty minutes ago

my yesterday

last week

past year

last decade

–back there with my  immaturity

So I could grow upand therefore out  of it.

The Grace of  a New Self

We never discourage the recipient of a new heart

or

a new liver

or

a new kidney

That is a courageous act of survival.

Necessary for life.

The lie we believed and passed on to our kids and closest friends:

“Time heals all wounds.”

Fine.

Keep your old heart — your old liver — your old kidney.

Time will heal it.

Nope. Some things just have to be discarded.

Some things simply must be replaced.

The wounds are too deep and debilitating;

rendering it incapable of good, proper function.

So, when the Bible teaches that the Self is like that

we shouldn’t gasp or grimace or guffaw.

Grin.

You’re at the top of the list for the next Self transplant.

So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and belovedput on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patiencebearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.  ~Colossians 3:12-14

Revenge.

Retaliation.

Hard habits to break.

Impossible to break.  

Only a new Self is healthy enough to

pump, cleanse, filter,

respond 

to hurt

with

Kindness

Courtesy

Compassion

Humility

A new Self requires renewal — a re-shaping into the likeness — the attitude of Christ Jesus.

Immaturity set me up for deep emotional bruising.

I over thought my importance, my role, my authority.

Abusing the power of my right as a person to have personhood

to have dignity

to have a voice

I was easily, too easily, offended.

In maturity, I no longer use my Self as a collection point for all things

rewarding

affirming

Now, my Self is put to better use.

Bumper Car of Compassion and Service.

My Self gives its power to making other people’s dreams come true.

And when that is too lofty or too large for realism

I just take a cup of water to the thirsty who have none.

I just help the grumpy old woman with a ride to the grocery

and then stick around

to put groceries away

and

miss my gym class.

This is the functioning new self that gives authority and personhood and dignity to the wonderful, beautiful, anger-filled, wrathful, malicious, slanderous, abusive

people

who fill up the earth

covered with wounds

that time never healed

but let fester

into oozing infection that infected others into

mass epidemic.

Beyond this — Put on LOVE

Love

It’s the antibodies of the soul.

Impossible?

Is it impossible to love or receive love after being exposed to all the virus and cholesterol and bacteria and poison of this planet contaminated with humanism?

Would seem so.

Surrounded by

Deafened by

“You don’t know what they did to me!”

“You don’t know what I’ve been through!”

“I will never forgive them for what they did!”

The Grace of Impossible Suffering

Ravensbrück was a notorious women’s concentration camp during World War II, located in northern Germany, 90 km (56 mi) north of Berlin .

Between 1939 and 1945, over 130,000 female prisoners passed through the Ravensbrück camp system; around 40,000 were Polish and 26,000 were Jewish. Between 15,000 and 32,000 of the total survived. Although the inmates came from every country in German-occupied Europe, the largest single national group incarcerated in the camp consisted of Polish women.

Siemens & Halske employed many of the slave labor prisoners.

Margarete Buber: “At the end of each week, the reward was added together and the hours logged, so evident that it was what every worker earned in so many hours, but which they never received, which was taken away by Siemens per concentration camp slave. Through this system it was to determine immediately where a prisoner had his workload, which accounted for about 40 Pfennig per hour not achieved … my employment at Siemens consisted mainly in correspondence of the Director with concentration camp. … As I learned, the main directors were showing their zeal for following orders, for their career, and out of fear of being sent to the front.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ravensbr%C3%BCck_concentration_camp

The following prayer was found at
Ravensbrück death camp where 92,000
women and children died.

It was scrawled on wrapping paper near a dead child.

Lord, remember not only the men
and women of good will also those of
ill will.
But do not only remember the
suffering they have inflicted on us.
Remember the fruits we have brought,
thanks to this suffering–our
comradeship, our loyalty, our humility,
the courage, the generosity, the
greatness of heart which has grown
out of all this.
And when they come to judgment, let
all the fruits we have borne be their
forgiveness. Amen

Source: http://restornews.blogspot.com/2012/03/ravensbruck-prayer.html

Only a new Self could love so well in hell

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Lord have mercy.  Christ have mercy.

More than heal us.  Save us with the grace of Self, brand new, molded in the image of You.