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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Cal­led to seek

Päivämies-verkkolehti
Vieraskieliset / In-english
25.6.2019 6.49

Juttua muokattu:

23.12. 02:44
2019122302443120190625064900

I had seen those ha­zi­ly be­au­ti­ful card­bo­ard pic­tu­res on the wal­ls of many ot­her hou­ses: there was one of Je­sus stan­ding in a boat and spe­a­king to a group of pe­op­le gat­he­red on the shore and anot­her of Him alo­ne hol­ding a sheep.

I do not know if any of the ot­her men in the vil­la­ge sang hymns on Sun­day eve­nings when their wife was in the barn mil­king the cows, but my fat­her did. So­me­ti­mes I stood on the roc­ker of his roc­king-chair lis­te­ning to him sing. On­ce the roc­ker broke, and my fat­her fell back on the floor with the big hym­nal in his hand and his black-fra­med glas­ses pus­hed on to his fo­re­he­ad. I still feel like laug­hing when I re­mem­ber his hor­ri­fied exp­res­si­on. At one time I burst out crying when he sang: “Ot­hers will le­a­ve me but you will not. You will heal the bro­ken he­arts, dress the wounds and wipe the te­ars.” That see­med so very sad to me. When my fat­her as­ked what was the mat­ter with me, I just said I was ha­ving toot­hac­he.

The pri­ma­ry school book of Bib­le sto­ries was one of my fa­vo­ri­te books. When we had a ca­tec­he­ti­cal mee­ting in our vil­la­ge, the vi­car as­ked what the pe­op­le of Is­ra­el did when they ran out of food and wa­ter du­ring their jour­ney in the wil­der­ness. Ha­ving read my book, I res­pon­ded that they “mur­mu­red against Mo­ses”. All the adults laug­hed at my li­te­ra­ry ans­wer, which made me feel as­ha­med, but the vi­car gent­ly hel­ped me by sa­ying that it was a very good ans­wer.

A few ye­ars ago, re­a­ding a di­a­ry that I had writ­ten when I was 12 ye­ars old, I was as­to­nis­hed to find these words, ”There is a flic­ke­ring cand­le on my tab­le. It looks so ro­man­tic, but there is no real at­mosp­he­re here. So­met­hing is lac­king. My soul is ye­ar­ning for so­met­hing. I have of­ten pra­yed, and I be­lie­ve I will find clear wa­ter for my soul. Or not I by my­self but He that is the Cre­a­tor of all things.”

Ye­ars pas­sed, and my li­fes­ty­le did not dif­fer from that of my age ma­tes. In some way, ho­we­ver, I gra­du­al­ly be­gan to drift away from them. There were ti­mes when I suf­fe­red from a pro­found fee­ling of emp­ti­ness. I read a lot. One sum­mer I read through the whole Bib­le. I was touc­hed by the words of Ec­c­le­si­as­tes: all is va­ni­ty un­der the sun.

I li­ved in the count­ry but at­ten­ded se­con­da­ry school in town. While I was in se­ni­or se­con­da­ry school, my aunt mo­ved to town, and I so­me­ti­mes sta­yed over­night with her. In ad­di­ti­on to the na­ti­o­nal church, there were more than ten re­li­gi­ous groups that ar­ran­ged mee­tings in the town where she li­ved. I de­ci­ded to find out about them all. I chec­ked the lo­cal news­pa­per for the sche­du­les of their events. I had al­re­a­dy been to a few, but the on­ly thing I re­mem­be­red about them was the warm at­mosp­he­re.

On the day be­fo­re Epip­ha­ny Day I went to the eve­ning ser­vi­ce of the Eas­tern Ort­ho­dox Church. I was a great fan of Rus­si­an li­te­ra­tu­re, and I felt enc­han­ted by the pic­tu­res and the bril­li­ant co­lors, the frag­ran­ce of fran­kin­cen­se and the be­au­ty of the li­tur­gy. That very same eve­ning, af­ter the Ort­ho­dox ser­vi­ce, I went to La­es­ta­di­an ser­vi­ces.

Straight from the street I en­te­red a small lob­by. There was a kitc­hen on the right side and a sanc­tu­a­ry with light yel­low woo­den pews on the left. There was a pul­pit, a har­mo­nium and two black-and-white pic­tu­res on the wall. Mar­tin Lut­her and Lars Levi La­es­ta­dius. I sat down in the back pew next to some el­der­ly la­dies.

When the speech be­gan, I think I ex­pe­rien­ced so­met­hing si­mi­lar to Luke’s desc­rip­ti­on of the men who were sent by the pha­ri­sees and chief priests to cap­tu­re Je­sus. They re­tur­ned emp­ty-han­ded. When the priests pres­sed them for the re­a­son why they did not bring Him, they said, ”No man has spo­ken like He spoke.” I al­so won­de­red why none of the ot­her spe­a­kers I had lis­te­ned to had spo­ken like that La­es­ta­di­an spe­a­ker. He exp­lai­ned eve­ryt­hing exact­ly how it was. Some of the la­dies sit­ting next to me stood up and as­ked to have their sins for­gi­ven. I stood up, too.

Af­ter that eve­ning I no lon­ger nee­ded to seek. I be­gan a jour­ney on a way that I had ne­ver known exis­ted. My me­mo­ries of the bright Ap­ril sun, the Eas­ter and my first sum­mer ser­vi­ces fill my he­art with the kind of joy desc­ri­bed in Psalm 122, ”I re­joi­ced with those who said to me, ‘Let us go to the hou­se of the Lord’.”

The Church Fat­her Au­gus­ti­ne said that the hu­man he­art is rest­less un­til it finds rest in God. I found this to be true. I was al­so touc­hed by Lut­her’s exp­la­na­ti­on of the third ar­tic­le of the Creed, ”I be­lie­ve that I can­not by my own re­a­son or strength be­lie­ve in Je­sus Christ, my Lord, or come to Him; but the Holy Ghost has cal­led me by the Gos­pel.”

All things in my life have been sha­ped by God’s in­comp­re­hen­sib­le grace. I would ne­ver have found un­less I had been cal­led to seek.

Text: Tuu­la Stång

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

You will find the ori­gi­nal Fin­nish blog post here.

28.5.2020

Kun To­tuu­den Hen­ki tu­lee, hän joh­taa tei­dät tun­te­maan koko to­tuu­den. Joh. 16:13

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