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

A Little View, Cold Snow

While the deep cold
lightens
as the snow falls
sparsely
through the temperature thinned air
the darkness falls
early for even these days
in early February.


If the light had started early
one might understand
willingly
the loss at 14:00.
But the sun refusing to shine until 9 or 10 or later
Leaves one willing to allow the light to defy all odds
If it would, at all, at all.

But a photographer’s joy is not the weatherman’s good report.
Quite the contrary!
Bad weather makes for great light, makes for the possibility of great photos.

Now if I just had a camera and time

even in this frozen

deserted place.

The choice is always to make the best of every situation.

‘Situation’ would be a mild word for the reality brought about by lies upon lies.

Light may bend, light may distort, light may make the ugly beautiful,

but light never lies.

Light just right delights.

Smile, the beginning of peace.

Smile, with delight, with delight I say.

And then all will be well, all will be well, all manner of things will be well.

Enough: our women and our men are dying from abuse

It’s about time.

My life long I’ve been the kind of man who raised children well, from diapers to first school day, to first date, to first day of university, to wedding, baptism, ….

My adult life long I’ve been the kind man who ensured that my wife’s career as pastor was not only still possible even after she had our children, but that she would excel. And I was privileged to raise our children.

I’m the kind man who gives to give others a good life.

I’m agonized to have been too often a helpless bystander,

all too often as

abused woman die at the hand of their trusted man.

All good people are also agonized to be so helpless.

I’m even more distressed as I’ve learned that our wise people have known for so long that

men abused by women die at their own hand.

This is so contrary to peace that we all seek for all.

Women abused by men die … at the hand of the man. It’s a psychological attack, and then a violent physical attack.

It’s about time we got so tired of abused women (our daughters and granddaughters, our sisters and mothers, our friends) dying at their man’s hand that we, as a whole village, do everything to finally stop it.

We’ve learned to recognize how and when the abuse of women starts and where it too often leads. We’ve learned and need to learn more. Now it’s time to do what we’ve learned about intervening, as a village.

Men abused by women die …at the hand of the man, manipulated so by the woman. It’s a psychological attack, and then a drawn out violent psychological attack.

It’s about time we got so very tired of abused men (our sons and grandsons, our brothers and fathers, our friends) dying at their own hand, manipulated so by their woman, that we learned that we must do everything to finally stop it.

It’s about time,

Because though our wise people have told us now for decades, we still do not want to listen and learn, we still do not know as a village how when a man dies at his own hand, that if his wife abused him at home, she has played a huge role in his death.

There is no excuse that we have not learned as a village, because only as a village can we bring this to an end, before it brings our brothers, sons, grandsons, fathers, grandfathers, and friends to their ends.

It takes a village to raise a child, starting with at least one parent, or grandparent or friend, who can love unconditionally.

It takes a village to keep everyone in the village safe, safe from the hidden causes of death, safe from those things that we do not want to know about, safe from the inconvenient truths.

You and I are members of the village, along with our sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers,

Twice

Twice I saw the same sun set.
Twice I lost all time before it rose.
All days fresh, the wind wafts soft.
The new white floats quiet to hush history to a new start.
Ends are starts are either hope or exhausting.
Sleep
Through
To new light.

Snow fell soft to cover all tracks
and warm wind blows.

Will the light shine deep and wide today?

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.

The Falls This Time In Late Spring

The Falls, again so lonely.

Where is it falling,

Just a little lonely compared to the last time

 

With so many feet running every which direction

 

And just a little shinier in the early evening light

 

 

And a whole lot colder with the falls’ water freezing making it all slide a bit more,

 

 

and what …

 

What a view

 

to the light

 

and the person of hope.

 

With trees leaning into the future.