quarta-feira, junho 14, 2006
Hey everyone. I hope your summers are going well. To be honest, beginning this summer was difficult and I was tempted to almost create this depression-- this missing everybody (which I still do). But I was quickly put in my place by a couple things and I wanted to share them with you.The first was just listening to myself complain. I got on my own nerves and it just didn't sound right! The second was a quote from Jim Elliott who says "Wherever you are, be fully there."And the third was this amazing exerpt from Henri Nouwen's "The Return of the Prodigal Son," which for some reason compelled me to share with you all;"I know that not everybody has been converted yet, that there is not yet peace everywhere, that all pain has not yet been taken away, but still, I see people turning and returning home; I hear voices that pray; I notice moments of forgiveness and I witness many signs of hope. I don't have to wait until all is well, but I can celebrate every little hint of the Kingdom that is at hand.This is a real discipline. It requires choosing for the light even when the forces of death are so visible, and choosing for truth even when I am surrounded with lies. I am tempted to be so impressed by the obvious sadness of the human condition that I no longer claim the joy manifesting itself in many small but very real ways. The reward of choosing joy is joy itself. Living among people with mental disabilities has convinced me of that. There is so much rejection, pain, and woudedness among us, but once you choose to claim the joy hidden in the midst of all suffering, life becomes celebration. Joy never denies the sadness, but transforms it to a fertile soil for more joy.Surely I will be called naive, unrealistic, and sentimental, and I will be accused of ignoring the 'real' problems, the structural evils that underlie much of human misery. But God rejoices when one repentant sinner returns. Statisticaly that is not very interesting. But for God, numbers never seem to matter. Who knows whether the world is kept from destruction because of one, two or three people who have continued to pray whe the rest of humanity has lost hope and dissipated itself? From God's perspective, one hidden act of repentance, one little gesture of selfless love, one moment of true forgiveness is all that is needed to bring God from his throne to run to his returning son and to fill the heavens with sounds of divine joy....For me it is amazing to experience daily the radical difference between cynicism and joy. Cynics seek darkness wherever they go. They point always to approaching dangers, impure motices and hidden schemes. They call trust naive, care romantic, and forgiveness sentimental. They sneer at enthusiasm, ridicule spiritual fervor, and despise charismatic behavior. They consider themselves realists who see reality for what it truly is and who are not deceived by 'escapist emotions.' But in belittling God's joy, their darkness only calls forth more darkness. People who have come to know the joy of God do not deny the darkness, but they choose not to live in it. They claim that the light that shines in the darkness can be trusted more than the darkness itself and that a little bit of light can dispel a lot of darkness. They point each other to flashes of light here and there, and remind each other that they reveal the hidden but real presence of God. They discover that there are people who heal each other's wounds, forgive each other's offenses, share their possessions, foster the spirit of community, celebrate the gifts they have received, and live in constant anticipation of the full manifestation of God's glory."