Christ is all in all

Christ is all in all

“Christ is all in all” (Colossians 3,11)

I am reading the latest news and finding information that a contemplative Pentecostal brother is being evicted from the site of his religious community. Having grown up in the Pentecostal movement this saddens me greatly. All the thumbs up for this from fellow Christians scare and sadden me even more. The Pentecostal movement in Sweden and Norway is in great need of ecumenical work and broader perspectives. This is a huge step back. And a step back sadly supported by many.

I believe this is a great mistake, but it is also understandable why this is happening. When religious practice seems strange and foreign it can be very easy to dismiss, yes, even name it the devil’s work. Someone actually commented on this brother’s practice as the work of the devil. That’s how far it goes.

But when something is a bit strange and foreign to the classic Pentecostal believer it does not mean the teaching or practice is evil. We must realize that we understand some of the things that are related to and connected to our background and upbringing, while many other things are probably far better understood by others. Sometimes we need to listen, listen and listen before we discern and distinguish, but never judge or condemn. The shadow is great in many people’s lives, and many is stuck in first-half-of-life-thinking (read Rohrs book “Falling Upward”).

This is what it is about, I think, it’s a clash of first- and second-half-of-life-thinking. It is a clash of black and white thinking and the contemplative mind and heart. I’ve tried to comment on this case on Facebook among a lot of judgmental messengers. It’s seems it is in vain, so I just had to write a blog post about this.

Now, I silently pray, God lead us into your unity of grace and love. God, lead us into the love of all brothers and sisters, the insiders and the outsiders, those we do not understand. Help us, Gracious Lord, to embrace our own shadow, and see that what we fear from and in others is what we need to embrace in ourselves. Lead us, Pentecostals and this brother in and through the darkness. Peace.

Lonely Longing

Sunflowers

Longing for true life

in relation to real people

Broken friendships and loss

Especially difficult

in times like these

Longing to truly give to others

what my heart has deeply received

Letting it rest

Especially difficult

in times like these

From longing to looking ahead

to days of new paths

Hungering for brighter days

Especially easy

      in times like these

 

 

Keep me in your Heart for a while

butterfly in hands
I think of Løgstrup’s words that each individual in his encounter with another human being holds some of that human life in his hand. How important is our encounter with the other and the other’s encounter with us? This applies throughout life, and some meet once, while others spend a lot of time together. How do I receive others? The same way I also want to be received?
Adults as well as children have both strength and vulnerability in a beautiful combination. And only in the meeting between people and in honesty and love does someone find the strength in his own vulnerability. It is precisely in this meeting between people that the miracle happens. In this meeting we are created for each other and for oneself. Yes so, it is! In your own encounter with the other and the other’s encounter, this is how life itself becomes.
Thank you to those I meet almost daily and thank you to those I may have only met once and I have yet to meet! Thank you for being and also giving me joy in just being! And finally, who would be thankful for meeting with you in the days to come (in corona time: a message, a phone?)? Feel free to listen to this nice song “Keep me in your heart” which for us can be both about the living and those who have found rest 🙂
Norsk versjon:
Bevar meg i ditt hjerte for en stund
Jeg tenker på Løgstrups ord om at hver enkelt i sitt møte med et annet menneske holder noe av det menneskets liv i sin hånd. Hvor viktig er ikke vårt møte med den andre og den andres møte med oss? Dette gjelder gjennom livet, og noen møtes en gang, mens andre får mye tid sammen. Hvordan tar jeg imot andre? Slik jeg også ønsker å bli tatt imot? Voksen som også barn har i seg både en styrke og sårbarhet i en vakker kombinasjon. Og bare i møte mellom mennesker og i ærligheten og kjærligheten finner menneskets styrken i sin egen sårbarhet. Nettopp i dette møtet mellom mennesker skjer miraklet. I dette møte blir vi til for hverandre og for en selv. Ja slik, er det! I ditt eget møte med den andre og den andres møte deg slik blir selve livet til.
Takk til deg som jeg nesten daglig møter og takk til deg som jeg kanskje bare har møtt en gang og takk til deg som jeg en gang skal møte. Takk for at du er til og også gir meg glede i det å være til! Og å til slutt, hvem kan bli glad for et møte med deg i dagene som kommer (i koronatid: en melding, en telefon)? Lytt gjerne til denne fine sangen “Keep me in your heart for a while” som for oss kan handle om både om de levende og de som har funnet hvilen 🙂

Last Song

prairie-679014_1920

Bluebells ringing in the morning sun

The day passing slowly

The evening coming so deep and blue

Everything said that can be said

The Earth has nourished you for a long time

Stars mirrored in the sea

Now say goodbye, to everything you know

Now it is you, who are dying

The boat is on the riverbank

The ferryman is ready

Look back no more

The Light is all you have

This poem was written by a very good, mystic friend, Dag Knapstad 🙂 Posted with the poet’s permission.

Norwegian original:

Siste sang

Blåklokker ringer i morgensol

Dagen drar langsomt forbi

Kvelden den kommer så dyp og blå

Alt er nå sagt som kan sies

Jorden har næret deg lenge nå

Stjernene speilet i sjø

Ta nå farvel med alt du vet

Nå er det du som skal dø

Båten den ligger ved elvens bredd

Ferjemannen er klar

Se deg ikke tilbake mer

Lyset er alt du har

Empty

Boats

I am empty

At least I feel so

This is a dark time

A time when it is very difficult to see

 

I feel almost nothing

Just a hollow pain inside

I am saddened

By my lack of love for self and others

 

I feel empty

For how long have I been emptied

Hardly any joy

I can not force it any more

 

Will I go crazy

Or will I become free

I don’t know now

Only that there is a deep hollow sorrow

 

I can not necessarily spiritualize what I am going through

But I will remind myself

That Jesus had to drink the cup he feared

On the cross he also felt completely lost

And away from his Father’s love

 

I do not know

But I want to trust

Rather than giving up on life

I give up walking in my own strength

Without feeling anything

I let go of my answers and ideas

Because now I have none

Mother

mother-and-son

Mother

Your joy

Your hope

Your love

Were there

So many times

 

Mother

You are still here

But also not

Different

 

Mother

I can still see your joy

Hope

And love

 

Mother

I can also see in you what you once saw in me

Fear

Insecurity

Pain

 

Mother

Sweet bitterness

Sweet sadness

Pain but

Memories sweet

Still love

Always

 

Is Surrender a Possible Way?

Surrendering

I woke up this morning worrying. Worrying about some things I can not or should not do anything about at the moment. It must wait.

This wait can also be a good thing. Since by waiting my feelings may get some necessary time to calm down. Then I can get some time to do some real thinking if needed, when I am more rested and not stressed out.

This wait can also be a chance to practice trust and surrender. Sometimes humans, at least I can speak for myself, try to control everything. Every thing must be this way or that way, yes, every thing needs to be perfect.

For myself, growing up with not enough acceptance for anger and frustration, it can still be difficult to handle feelings that come up. The feelings are often very strong. I guess I have not been used to being able to express negative feelings, so this is still difficult at times, being afraid that it won’t be acceptable, and that I will be rejected.

Deep inside, at times hidden for no one to see, sometimes even hidden to ourselves, we are feeling insecure and have this need to be embraced and completely accepted for who we are.

Not being able to express the full range of my emotions and feelings when I were younger has interfered with my ability to feel completely secure today, and has also made me, both consciously and uncounciusly, afraid of making mistakes.

Still, in the midst of all worry and fear of making or being responsible for mistakes, I feel a great energy for living and doing good. Not the perfect kind of good, but good, as in being someone to be trusted, a someone with hopefully some wisdom and at least enough empathy to be of some help to others. Nouwen’s expression that we can be “wounded healers” resonates with me.

I mentioned the wait I give myself when worrying tries to take over. The wait I give myself when I know worrying is of no use and know as the holy book says that worrying can not add any length to my life (Matthew 6:27). Much worrying does not benefit us at all. But the wait can be beneficial.

The wait can be a chance to surrender. A chance to say to God “hey, you know everything, you know my heart, you know the good stuff and the bad stuff, yes you know everything…but now I give it all to you!”. This simple prayer can be the beginning of a quite time of surrender. Imagine surrendering everything to the Creator of the Universe!?

I know this is so, so much easier said than done. Trust me, I do know! But that does not make it less true or even less possible. I believe in the practice of surrender. And being silent before the Great Divine. I believe in Christ within us, that can become our lives, so that we may live through him. I believe in the acceptance of all emotions and feelings, but also in the denial and surrender of the ego, and in the trust in the Christ within. I can, and you can, surrender and give everything to the One that gave us life. I mean, surrender every thing!

I remember reading a book (by the way I have not been sponsored to say this) called The Surrender Experiment by Michael A. Singer. Here he tells a story of surrendering to life, I would say Life with a capital L. He is not sugarcoating life, but he is telling an honest story about his company and later also the development of a spiritual center. And he is telling of difficulties he met, even a time spent in court. Still, through all this, he practiced surrender. A surrender to life.

I believe in the wait and the surrender. I believe in the silence and in the trust. I believe we can be still, and know, truly know there is a God (Psalm 46:10). A God that knows our heart and also our sin and failures. Surrender does not mean that you are excempt from taking action or doing what you can do. But surrender is a place to start and restart when life feels, really feels, overwhelming.

So, I believe there can be trust and encouragment in sitting down or going for a walk, crying out, and then maybe also in the divine silence you may be, though maybe weakly, able to surrender to the One that cares for you, for all, the Giver of Life.

Feel free to comment!

PS! Remember surrendering to a God that to you may seem invisible can be really difficult. We need to be around people and also nature, that point to and practice this love, and in who and which also God lives (the panentheistic not pantheistic worldview). So also remember to reach out to someone you can trust when you are experiencing difficulties and worry. And also reach out to those you may think are going through hardship. We “are” Christ in this world.