Forgiveness

Forgiveness
There are really terrible things that people do to other people.

In life these terrible things sometimes stick out above everything else.

There are really terrible things that have been done to me, lies that have been told, and the effects have been devastating.
There are much worse things that are done to others, that have been done to others through history.
As for me: I used to have assets of $350k before, and $250k after.
It was not much of a retirement since I was always a stay at home dad, but it was something, and I freely gave that $100k, or so I thought, because I trusted what I was told: that I brought joy, life and health to others.

Now I have growing debt and no assets, except a bicycle, my clothes, a tent, a sleeping bag. My reputation is in tatters. No one will hire me. Everything that sustains my physical living in the harsh environment of winter is borrowed. Everything that allows me to drink and eat and move and comply with sentences against me is borrowed. Everything and every minute is given to me as gift. So I am still standing. I am still breathing. I am still able to see, record and share the light and the infinite breaking in on our finite existence. But every day everything is borrowed. Or maybe it always has been, and we just make up that we possess things, instead of being loaned them by those around us.

What I did ought to be lauded. I ought not to be judged or condemned or sacrificed or sentenced.
I forgave.
I forgave because I could not allow myself to hate.

I forgive because I will not allow myself to hate.
“Hate is a very big, very hungry thing with lots of very sharp teeth and it will eat up your whole heart and leave no room left for love. We are lucky that God understands this. He is the one that will hand out the punishment so that we do not have to carry all this terrible hate inside of us, if we do not want to, if we are willing to forgive.” From the movie Amish Grace.

We Lutherans proclaim a very powerful Gospel, a Gospel that God loves us unconditionally, that God extends free Grace and Forgiveness to us, no matter what we do, good or evil, so that we can live freely.
We are not free to be whatever we wish to be, but free to respond to such amazing Grace given to us by offering grace and forgiveness to others, no matter what they do, good or evil.

Forgiveness
does not
and cannot
come easily
or
cheaply.

It is costly.

Forgiveness is so costly, sometimes more costly than we could imagine.

My forgiving has cost me …
everything.

An acquaintance wrote me: “You are a love-worthy person and I am glad I met you.”

Everyone is a love-worthy person.
And this is why and how God graciously forgives us, so that we can see each other as worthy of love.

What do you see today?
Who do you see today?
How do you see today?

Do you see with a heart consumed by hate?
Or
Do you see with a heart graciously forgiven and made capable of forgiving and loving in spite of what evil is done to you?

See the light

by following the darkness of the shadows.

 

Celebrate the light.
by seeing the light in all that is every-day.

Share the light

by showing big picture to others, by showing how the light has lit up your path.


All our light comes from the holy infinite God all gracious loving one who gives us life, and breath.

So breathe.

Be gracious
and forgiving
especially of your enemies.

Cold Recovery

Cold Recovery

While it hits a low of -34°C and lasts a few nights
The cold is about to let up.

It’ll warm up to just -4°C.
And then sink at night to -17°C.

This is a little recovery from the Cold, welcome by most,

Or one could hope that the infection commonly known as a cold
will be the recovery that is coming.

Yet there are bigger recoveries that would benefit so many people would they happen.

There are so many people that know the recovery needed.

Just a little light, that’s what we need, a light to shine truth and hope and grace for us all.


In the trees the light takes the bite out of the bark with soft warm golden shine.
Shine light shine!

 

Near the water,
drawn full down by the spin of the earth into the clouds,

the light lets hope shine even as
it is about
to disappear through the cold of the night.

 

Even in the setting sun the wonder is still there,
Reflecting on the snow

And drawing us onward
Toward the horizon,
Toward what will come
After the darkness,
When the light returns and shines
the truth
all ways.

It may be cold.
It may be dark for a while.
But it will be light.
It will be filled with hope.
It will be filled with truth.

And it will be filled with Grace,

For all.

Who knows the light, the truth, the only reason for hope?
Who can speak and set the record straight?

Who can, who will?

What is dark will always be made clear in the light.

Who can, who will set foot in the light?

Who will step out of the shadows and give witness to the light and truth?

Indomitable Life in the Deep Cold Darkness

Indomitable Life in the Deep Cold Darkness

The cold of this past week was unrelenting.

Yes it got to -35°C. Not just once for a few hours but twice, staying below -30°C for long, cold, dark hours. And during that time there was no furnace that would run, taken down by a what, or was it a who? With repairs two nights distant, two deep cold dark nights away.

Yes, there are more than a few people who know some of the truth of what has been done to me xxxx but that I am under threat if I speak the truth (the xxxx indicate phrases I needed to delete). Most people have believed the lies told about me: they think that I am some kind of monster that is portrayed nowadays in film and tv as the ultimate male gone amok  x x x x.

I am nothing of the sort.

I am a person who at great cost to myself has practiced unconditional love for those closest to me  x x x x 

I am a person practiced in bringing others to experience Grace, even in the midst of the brokenness of their lives, often after surviving the death of loved ones, even by suicide.

Yet I am told, repeatedly, that I have done what I have not done, that I am a person I am not and have never been nor would ever allow myself to become.

 X x x x

How is this even possible?

That impossibility become real is the deep dark cold that corrupts and consumes the goodness in life, not just for me and those close to me, but for everyone who encounters this dark cold.  X x x x  Our sense of truth is so assaulted and violated that it will be a miracle  x x x x  if anyone is left capable of receiving and then giving unconditional love.

Grace is such a miracle, and grace requires human hands and hearts to carry it and deliver it, to reflect it as light … to show by example that Grace does exist … unconditionally for us all.

 

Yet in spite of the unrelenting deep cold darkness

I stand, surviving the cold, by faith through grace alone.

Who will stand with me?

Or

Who will continue to stand against me?

There are so many people who know a piece or two of the truth which would make obvious the lies told about me. There are a few people who know so much truth about the lies being told about me. If only one or two people came forward with the truth they know, the lies could not continue to ruin lives all around; and the conglomerations of lies are not innocent; they have already brought people to their deaths; they will bring more people to their deaths by their own hands.

 

Who will you be, in the face of the deep, cold, darkness that invades your lives?

Will you be an agent of Grace, or one who impedes others knowing Grace is also for them?

 

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
“Because I was not a Socialist.

“Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
“Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

“Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
“Because I was not a Jew.

“Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Martin Niemoller from Wikipedia

“Friedrich Gustav Emil Martin Niemöller (German: [ˈniːmœlɐ]; 14 January 1892 – 6 March 1984) was a German anti-Nazi theologian and Lutheran pastor.[1][2] He is best known for a widely-paraphrased statement which he made in different versions, one of which is “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-because I was not a Socialist. … Then they came for me-and there was no one left to speak for me.” [see above.]

He was a national conservative and initially a supporter of Adolf Hitler,[3] but he became one of the founders of the Confessing Church, which opposed the Nazification of German Protestant churches. He vehemently opposed the Nazis’ Aryan Paragraph,[4] but made remarks about Jews that some scholars have called antisemitic.[5] For his opposition to the Nazis’ state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1938 to 1945.[6][7] He narrowly escaped execution. After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis.[4] He turned away from his earlier nationalistic beliefs and was one of the initiators of the Stuttgart Declaration of Guilt.[4] From the 1950s on, he was a vocal pacifist and anti-war activist, and vice-chair of War Resisters’ International from 1966 to 1972.[8] He met with Ho Chi Minh during the Vietnam War and was a committed campaigner for nuclear disarmament.[9]

Wikipedia about Martin Niemöller

Who are they coming for today, for whom you do not speak out?

 

What do you see around you?

The COLD and the DARK settling in again?

 

 

OR

 

GRACE and BEAUTY of light, the light that brings truth even in the darkness?

 

 

Can you find the path to the light?
The light that rises indomitably even in the deep dark cold.

 

The path is never straight, and often meanders at many crossroads on its way to the light.

 

We can be no more than ones who reflect the light of Grace. And sometimes when we have so little life left in us we can at most point in the deep, dark, cold to where the light is reflected, to others who reflect the light.

 

 

Then, by the reflected light, we can show others the path …
The path that winds its way toward home,
home where the infinite meets our finite lives,
turning everything upside down, inside out
and
warm with the goodness of life,
the indomitable life
given to us all by Grace.

 

And we are left able in the cold to walk on water,

 

for there is no other choice.

 

 

Most every path we tread is covered
with water,
frozen water,
snow and ice.

Miracles of indomitable life often only occur in the face of the deepest, darkest, coldest ….

 X x x x

40° … minus 40° or lower

The thermometer only goes to -40°. It was there well before sunrise this morning.

Frosted the view.

If something breaks it’s broke and I’m a gonner.

That’s the price of loving and always telling the truth, the inconvenient truth.

But the view, as long as you can stand to look, is wonderful.

Wish I had more time.

Sub Cold is so Cold

Sub Cold

There is a point

Beyond which one

Does not any longer

Need to make a point

About it being cold.

It is the definition of cold as one has experienced it.

It’s is Cold, – 35° right now and getting another 4° or 5° colder.

So at -40°

It is not about age,

It is about getting older, or at least hoping to.

Of course if you have a home with heating that works, and water that runs, and toilets, and beds, and a study, a kitchen and bedrooms and closets, and all the people and things that make it one’s living space, one’s home, then … well … then it is just another square tire morning after a night to stay home of have the right gear packed well in the car with a full tank of gas.

There is still beauty to see and enjoy and share:

 

Too much in the middle may just cloud the view or grab your interest.

A path may lead somewhere brighter … or

The journey past an oddity may be the better view.

Then again it may just be down the path that becomes a road that one may find the view one craves: clarity and hope.

And the view may turn out to be a bit of land and a bit of see the ice.

 

Usually the large picture view has more to tell and

Less that actually is of specific interest.

 

Whatever the view from your pillow, enjoy that you have a pillow.

Living is good.

Living and being less concerned that the cold will be a game ender is always something to celebrate.

And life is about enjoying having something to celebrate.

Free! Free at the Last.

Free! Free At Last
2018
Like never before I am free.
Not the Martin Luther King Jr. kind; that would call for a celebration of great proportions.
This freedom is the Janis Joplin kind:
Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose ….
Starting this year with only my family and friends to lose.
Free.
What a way to live.
I brought in the New Year changing the oil on a borrowed truck. -28°C ! Had four hours to drive and no time to get it done earlier, nor could it wait until after the trip.
So in the dark, cold, numbness … at least the oil was warm, until it wasn’t and the engine was cool because it had not run for a bit.
And then the sleep time came well into the morning, with miles and miles to go again on New Year’s Day.
Back in the cold cold cold to a not-home.
The view is something, no horizon, nothing permanent, or hope-filled.

The path on the full moon morning leads down a ways.
 

After another night with the temperatures rising back to tolerable, this same view is just a bit different.

Freedom is variously not much, not much to lose.
A new year.
2018
Free.
At the last, finally free.

But the moon is still bright, as bright as a clear cool night. Only -10 or so. Tolerable like lots of life.

Full Life – Full Moon

Full Life – Full Moon

The way to full life is not any simple procedure or simple idea.
One cannot simply wait 28 days and it will appear.
The process of participating in life to the fullest is just as complex as life always is –
After one comprehends enough of the complexity of life one finds the kernel that inspires and fills life as never before,
Full life waxes and wanes as real life carries one forward through whatever will come.
One can simply wait 28 days for anther full moon, and complain how people are owl-ly those nights. Yet if you are out in the wilderness the full moon is real and advantageous, or not.
In the dark of night the moon shines this night full against cold, snow and dark.


Always the light comes at long last to reveal the way forward.

Out in the trees the moon shine is so bright that the shadows lay distinct lines, black on the white fallen from heaven.

 

This track gives evidence of life fully lived, of skiing in the romantic light of the night.

Before it gets so dark, at sunset the snow shines
Drifts and rolls of white hang on the shore under a sky getting darker by the minute.

Simple blues, and drifts and rolls of snow.

There is blue and gold and snow and dark ….

And this is a moment of the fullness of life, when one sees the light.
How do you measure the fullness of your life?
Find beauty this side of life, the daisies will soon enough hold themselves against the sky.

The Lake Sings

The Lake Sings
When I woke this morning the cold night reaching its deepest minus C degrees the view out the door was still, quiet and refreshing (if one had on a good jacket, boots and gloves), or bleeping cold if one had no protected space to sleep under down with a wool hat, and no proper protection from what can simply take away one’s breath, molecule by molecule, as saline becomes solid.

Yesterday
on the beaver pond,
literally on the edge of the pond on frozen ice five feet away from open water flowing into the pond,
I was surprised to hear a melodious tone ring out as if the timpani were set as high as possible and drummed once giving the sweet tone of an oboe.
For a short moment it all did not compute …
Until the echoes began beneath the ice and I realized the lake was singing as the ice shifted.
I thought at first it was like the deep tone of a lake ice shifting, but higher since there was only a rim of ice to generate the tone.
Last night the lake sang again and again, sweet and melodic.
It dawned on me before I slept that the existing ice was not likely shifting,
But that the water freezing and becoming ice, shifting and taking up more space, expanding, was ringing out as new ice snapped out of its previous liquid state into the larger solids.

Whether physics are correctly portrayed, it made sense to my quieted synapses as sleep took hold and the moon light continued to press magnetic force on the just-enough-cooled liquid to randomly move it out of liquid to the solid of ice.

The morning light confirmed what I had suspected, that most if not all the water surface was now insulated from the cold by a sheer cap of solid ice. Great for skating if one could weigh in at an ounce and no more.

All around the shores were solid through to the shallow sands, and out there where due to my weight I certainly could not walk on even this solidified water, the sheen did not waver in the wind, the water did not rise to greet the sun, as the solid and simple sheen held the barrier from liquid below to bleeping cold freezing air above in reflective repose.

The reeds fully encased in ice, an ice decoration left inches above the root as the last of the waves stuck frozen before the water below succumbed to the inevitable solidification.

Between the reeds in the trace of snow an animal’s track survives.
Singing sweetly the lake has become the winter home of fish below and soon fishers above.
And always, the photographer’s wonderland.

More than We can Imagine

More than We can Imagine


Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of who do the things that no one can imagine. Alan Turing

On the deep side of the ice forming with wind shaking the water just as it freezes into patches and cracks, there stands a person never seen nor geachtet.
The morning is barely underway, with light sending the darkness back, but the bright light of day not yet having taken away the reach of darkness. The shadows not yet formed. The moon still perched in the west above the clouds. The beaver pond creek still flowing fast enough to keep the water from freezing hard.
There is more to this than we can imagine.

Where just a bit of light can be confusing, leaving one to wonder if night would persist or if light would arrive after all to make things more than clear.
Is there more to this than we can imagine?

Across the pond the trees stand tall, the bush not relenting, and the pussy willows the only colour amid the black and the white. Let there be more light so that colour can be better known, the withers and whethers, the downs and ups, the dreams and the realities made more obviously clear.
Can we imagine more?

There were white giants once standing, now broken and stripped clean. The wisps of fluff, standing stout, bending yet firmly staunch against the outrageous rages of whether or not.
What is it that we can imagine that we do not know.

One short and angled against the bronze reeds above the silver white snow of age still vibrant.
Imagine that.

It is the silent light disguised by the flowing water so close to freezing that will set the fires of recognition and revelation ablaze, warming the hearts that will choose either Grace or Retribution and DESTRUCTION.
Can anyone really not imagine such choices of life and death so close to the everyday, to the simplest ways, and for which so many things are perverted and converted through deception as if reality never were a thing at all?
Sometimes it is the people who seem to think they can know they can get away with everything who cannot imagine, who cannot imagine that other people do not play the zero sum game.
Every day there are choices that we each and all make,
To be the means of Grace
Or
To be the instruments of retribution.

Light will shine and make the darkness visible and clear to all.
How will you,
How will we,
How will they,
Find the light?
By surprise or predictably knowing:
Caught or Free.
Sometimes it is the people no one imagines anything of
who do the things that no one can imagine.

Go One Step Further

Go One Step Further

From the Movie About Time: In a family wherein the men can travel back in time, in their own lives to make things different, better, hopefully not worse:

Dad toasts at Tim’s wedding:

I’d only give one piece of advice to anyone marrying. We’re all quite similar in the end. We all get old and tell the same tales too many times. But try and marry someone kind.

And this, Tim, is a kind man with a good heart.

Dad’s Secret Formula for Happiness:

Part one of the two-part plan, is that I should just get on with ordinary life, living it day by day like anyone else.

Part Two: To live every day a second time,

To live every day, almost exactly the same way, the first time with all the worries and tensions that stop us from noticing how sweet the world can be, but the second time noticing.

Tim’s Step further than Dad’s formula:

The truth is I now don’t travel back at all, not even for the day, I just try to live every day as if I’ve deliberately come back to this one day, to enjoy it, as if it was the full final day of my extraordinary, ordinary life.

 

There is much in life that is not even good enough to wonder about.

I watched this movie and in it heard people dear to me chortle at Charlotte’s horrendous treatment of Tim. Then I witnessed the worst thing I have ever seen between a child and a parent; something I’d suspected but now was confirmed.

The Light that shines in through the cracks

But there is the sweet wonder of life each day as the sun rises, even when buried beyond a deep, dark, stormy bank of clouds.

The storm aside, literally just set aside, knowing that every storm provides the light for fabulous photos, I know kindness, and that I am kind.

I know light, and I know I am a child of light.

I know grace, and boy do I know I am a child of grace and grace alone.

I know love so sweet it will heal you, and love so overwhelming it literally will kill you, and love so gracious it unconditionally welcomes you home, and love so pure it is an idea that will fuel peace for generations.

The fuel of days

What will fuel your day?

The Light that brings to light all that was hidden in shame in the darkness?

The light that shines through the cracks of our lives, so that we are not dark inside?

The LIGHT that shines on the fields, waters, trees and farms so that life continues having been fed?

The LighT that guides us out of the darkness, toward the light.

Are you ready to go one step further than others?

Life’s a mixed bag, no matter who you are. Look at Jesus: he was the Son of God, for God’s sake and look how that turned out.