Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For the Real-Life Humans

words of wisdom
from one of my favorites
frederick buechner

“It is a world of magic and mystery, of deep darkness and flickering starlight. It is a world where terrible things happen and wonderful things too. It is a world where goodness is pitted against evil, love against hate, order against chaos, in a great struggle where often it is hard to be sure who belongs to which side because appearances are endlessly deceptive. Yet for all its confusion and wildness, it is a world where 
the battle goes ultimately to the good
who live happily ever after, and where in the long run everybody, good and evil alike, becomes known by his true name....That is the fairy tale of the Gospel with, of course, one crucial difference from all other fairy tales, which is that the claim made for it is that it is true, that it not only happened once upon a time but has kept on happening ever since and is happening still.” 
-Telling the Truth: The Gospel as Tragedy, Comedy and Fairy Tale

“We need to be reminded that at its heart Christianity is joy and that laughter and freedom and the reaching out of arms are the essence of it.  We need to be reminded to that joy is not the same as happiness.  Happiness is man-made -- a happy home, a happy marriage, a happy relationship with our friends and our jobs.  We work for those things, and if we're careful and wise and lucky, we can usually achieve them.  Happiness is one of the highest achievements of which we are capable, and when it is ours, we take credit for it, and properly so. But we never take credit for our moments of joy because we know that they are not man-made and that we are never fully responsible for them.  

They come when they come.  They are always sudden and quick and unrepeatable.  The unspeakable joy sometimes of just being alive.  The miracle sometimes of being just who we are with the blue sky and the green grass, the faces of our friends and the waves of the ocean, being just what they are.  The joy of release, of being suddenly well when before we were sick, of being forgiven when before we were ashamed and afraid, of finding ourselves loved when we were lost and alone.  The joy of love, which is the joy of the flesh as well as the spirit.  But each of us can supply his own moments, so just two more things.  One is that joy is always all-encompassing; there is nothing of us left over to hate with or to be afraid with, to feel guilty with or to be selfish about.  JOY is where the whole being is pointed in one direction, and it is something that by nature a man never hoards but always wants to share.  The second thing is that JOY is a mystery because it can happen anywhere, anytime, even under the most unpromising circumstances, even in the midst of suffering, with tears in its eyes.  
Even nailed to a tree.” 
-The Hungering Dark

“I have come to believe that by and large the human family all has the same secrets, which are both very telling and very important to tell. They are telling in the sense that they tell what is perhaps the central paradox of our condition— that what we hunger for perhaps more than anything else is to be known in our full humanness, and yet that is often just what we also fear more than anything else. It is important to tell at least from time to time the secret of who we truly and fully are—even if we tell it only to ourselves—because otherwise we run the risk of losing track of who we truly and fully are and little by little come to accept instead the highly edited version which we put forth in hope that the world will find it more acceptable than the real thing. It is important to tell our secrets too because it makes it easier that way to see where we have been in our lives and where we are going. It also makes it easier for other people to tell us a secret or two of their own, and exchanges like that have a lot to do with what being a family is all about and what being human is all about.  Finally, I suspect that it is by entering that deep place inside us where our secrets are kept that we come perhaps closer than we do anywhere else to the One who, whether we realize it or not, is of all our secrets the most precious we have to tell.” 
-Telling Secrets

Frederick Buechner speaks such words of wisdom and truth into my life through his books about the realities of our own humanness -- our hopes, dreams, faults, and failures.  And that above all else, there is a key feature that links all of our hearts together and that is that we were all created by a single creator, who loved us so much that He died so we might have life.  I hope his words bless your lives just as much as they've blessed mine!  
More to come.  All my love!

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