Learning to Speak

I’m learning to speak all over again.  I am enjoying learning a wee bit of the local dialect.

Here is a sample, from a blogger who now lives in Berkely but still calls Buckie home:

As we say in Buckie,

‘Better tae be oot the qweets, than oot the fashion!’

(‘Better to twist your ankle than be out of fashion!’)

Bit it’s nae me that ye’ll see on thon stilettos!

From http://berkeleyscot.wordpress.com/category/buckie/

Pictures tomorrow.

Travel Notes 1

Here I am at Gatwick International Airport in London where I am awaiting my flight to Aberdeen, whence I will proceed to Buckie.  I finished reading Last Girl in the wee hours (I can use that adjective here, right?) of the morning, and began reading Traveling Mercies.  I should have reviews on them shortly.

 I also will be posting some pictures of Rhinehold Niehbur street and Grant’s Tomb from NYC.

 It’s Saturday morning; and I haven’t heard the results of last night’s basketball game, but I have a friendly wager from Joe, our reporter/reviewer from Villanova–Alma cheese vs. maple syrup from New Hampshire (Joe’s home state).  I’m opposed to gambling, but it’s just a friendly gift exchange between friends.

Easter Wishes from Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes an Easter letter to his parents during his first month in prison. He is allowed to send one letter every ten days. He refers to his fiancée, Maria von Wedemeyer, who was about 19 at the time. He was about 37 when he wrote the letter.

Easter Sunday, April 25, 1943

Today the tenth day is finally here again, so that I may write to you. How glad I am to let you know that I am celebrating a happy Easter here. The liberating thing about Good Friday and Easter is that one’s thoughts turn far away from one’s personal fate toward the ultimate meaning of life, suffering, and everything that happens, and one clings to a great hope.

Since yesterday it has been amazingly quiet in this prison house. The only sound heard is “Happy Easter,” as everyone calls to each other with no envy, and no one begrudges the fulfillment of their Easter wishes to those who labor here in these difficult conditions.

Good Friday was Maria’s birthday. In the past year she bore the death of her father, her brother, and two especially beloved cousins with such a firm heart. If I didn’t know that, I would worry about her. Now Easter will console her, her large family will stand by her, and her work in the Red Cross will keep her completely occupied.

Greet her warmly, tell her that I long for her very much. Tell her not to be sad but brave as she has been til now. She is so very young! That is the hard part.

Christian and Heathen (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

Here is the poem by Bonhoeffer that I promised earlier. It is a good meditation for Holy Week and Good Friday.

People go to God in their need,
plead for help, ask for happiness and bread,
for deliverance from sickness, guilt, and death.
So do we all, all of us, Christian and heathen.

People go to God in his need,
find him poor, abused, homeless, without bread,
see him entangled in sin, weakness, and death.
Christians stand by God in his suffering.

God goes to all people in their need,
satisfies them body and soul with his bread,
dies for Christian and heathen on the cross of death,
and forgives them both.

What Does God Need?

The obvious answer would be that God needs nothing from us. It was the answer Epicurus gave: the gods are perfectly happy and their bliss is neither diminished nor enhanced by anything we do. Passages in the Bible also agree, that God in his eternal divinity is in need of nothing–certainly not sacrifices. As David says in the Psalms, speaking for God,

If I were hungry, would I ask you?

God has all the glory he needs as well. Our pitiful attempts to “give” him glory and praise do not supply any deficiency in God.

And yet that is not the whole story:

Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote from prison a poem about Christians and Heathens. He said all people go to God in their need, but Christians stand by God in his need. (I will post the poem in a day or two.)

The message of Easter and Holy Week is that God so identified with our needs that he became one of us, taking on our guilt, death, sickness, and needs. When Jesus walked this earth, he needed food and shelter, friendship, and strength from his Father.

He also said,

“Inasmuch as you have done unto the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done to me.”

We could speak abstractly about God been self-sufficient, immutable, and almighty. We could suppose that God can do anything he wishes. What we know is that he has chosen to work through us to fulfill his work on earth, his work of love, compassion, and providing for the needs of his children. As long as there are hungry, suffering, abandoned, or lost people on earth God needs us.

Here She Is!

Ariana and Eric

Welcome to the World, Ariana

Our first granddaughter, Elijah’s little sister Ariana arrived Tuesday.  Stay tuned for pictures.