Monday, September 14, 2009

All my trials, Lord, soon be over…

Many people live with the unconscious or conscious expectation that eventually things will get better; wars, hunger, poverty, oppression, and exploitation will vanish; and all people will live in harmony. Their lives and work are motivated by that expectation. When this does not happen in their lifetimes, they are often disillusioned and experience themselves as failures.

But Jesus doesn’t support such an optimistic outlook. He foresees not only the destruction of his beloved city Jerusalem but also a world full of cruelty, violence, and conflict. For Jesus there is no happy ending in this world. The challenge of Jesus is not to solve all the world's problems before the end of time but to remain faithful at any cost.

Henri Nouwen, from Bread for the Journey

An old friend died last night, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s. At last, he is at peace, home with the Lord he loved and faithfully served all his life. In this world there was no happy ending for him, for his children and grandchildren, or for his wife who cared for him so selflessly at home for so long. But for him… for him the best is only just getting started. All his trials are behind him now…

6 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that, Mike. May your friend rest in peace.

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  2. I wonder what he sees now Mike. How amazing for him now, how disorientating for his wife. I like what Nouwen says here. I cant be grateful enough that the kingdom leaks and smudges into this one, the calm inside the storm. How awesome it will be when one day the storm has passed for us all. imagine! Cant help feeling it will get much worse before the end but hope is such a powerful thing and He's faithful.

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  3. I am sorry for the loss of your friend, Mike. Peace to all.

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  4. PS: I hope my comment didn't come off as dismissive of your grief at all. Just thinking out loud ... it's hard to insert selah pauses inbetween thoughts on this flat surface.

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  5. Of course your comment didn't come over as dismissive, Sue, at all. That hope is what it's all about: "If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men." (1 Cor. 15:19)

    In fact, what you wrote went right to heart of what I'd been trying to say. Thank you!

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  6. Oh, good, Mike. I guess sometimes people say things because they're trying to jolly you up, and grief totally has its place. But so does joy and hope. Especially when someone has suffered the way your friend must have with Parkinsons.

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