Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Bonhoeffer & Purpose

I've been reading a biographical, yet fictional book on Dietrich Bonhoeffer called "Saints and Villains", by Denise Giardina, for fun over Christmas break. I've just scratched the surface, but it seems written very well. It takes a few liberties, to make for a great story, but I don't think it's too out of character or unbelievable to have been how many things may have happened. Even the internal dialogue for Bonhoeffer himself she captures in a great way.

In an early chapter, Bonhoeffer is called upon to deliver the Reformation Day sermon before President Hindenburg and other members of government before the Nazi take-over. He had been contemplating the issue of the "Nature of the Church", and delivered a difficult message to a crowd he knew wanted nothing more than to "digest their breakfast in peace". No great applause or response outwardly it seemed. Most of the people left as planned to prepare for the meal. Only Elisabeth, the young woman he was "courting", remained.

But her words of encouragement caught my attention. Simple, short, and yet something we all long to hear. Not just in our occupation, but in moments where our hearts are tapped into, and we pour out our efforts. The excerpt from the book:

"She caught him as he left the church alone. He stopped, bowed his head, and she grabbed his hands. "What you did today," she said, "was what you were put on earth to do." (pg. 93)

I like that. And I don't think it's as hard to accomplish that as many people make it.

Although, I think it's a lot more challenging/painful than what quite a few people make it also. :)

But in any case, may we be those who encourage others when and where we see them fulfilling God's purpose in New Creation. :)

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