Text: Jouni Lesonen
Translation: Sirkka-Liisa Leinonen
Wednesday is the most important weekday. Soon after the noon I begin to glance at my watch, wondering if the mailman has already come. A large part of the advertising flyers and other leaflets that come into our mailbox go unread into the recycling bin. But I take the daily newspapers, stack them by my armchair and begin to read. The biggest local paper contains a lot of interesting information about Kainuu, Finland and the world.
Now that I have time, I read the daily papers quite carefully. At the bottom of the pile is Päivämies. I know it will require more time than the others, and I sit up straight for the enjoyable experience. I ponder whether I should read the paper before having coffee, with the coffee, or after coffee. If the editorial has an interesting heading, I read it first. Sometimes I start with some other articles and come back to the editorial later. The Bible text for the coming Sunday and Food for the Journey are important sections. Maybe because I have previously been in the writing team for both. The Bible text for the coming Sunday is especially important if I need to speak at Sunday services. I may just skim some of the articles and go back to them in more detail later. In the evening my wife and I sometimes discuss the contents of the paper.
– Did you read that article? It was interesting.
If I must admit that I have missed that particular article, I want to do some further reading. Our discussion sometimes reveals interesting and important things that I had missed on my first round of reading.
Obituaries always make me pause and reminisce. They call up memories week after week.
Way back in the 1980s we used to attend a camp for mothers and fathers every autumn. Those camps are now known as camps for spouses. That camp was one of the highlights of our year. We eagerly waited for the camp and, when back home, began to wait for the next one. During those camps we developed friendships that have lasted for years or even decades. We often met old acquaintances on the camps and had profound discussions that further strengthened our friendship. It was empowering to listen to married couples in the same life situation. When our oldest children were about seven, many of them had children who were seventeen and still had a baby or a toddler along. But that stage in life came to an end for us and for them. We also stopped going to those camps, but we still occasionally meet our friends.
A few years ago I came across a father who had attended many camps with me a long time ago. We met for a short chat after services in the dark fall evening. We exchanged thoughts and then returned to our daily tasks. We met again on a sunny summer day at Muhos Summer Services in 2019. Again we had an opportunity to discuss, this time a little longer. We talked about the arrangement of the services and marveled at how well everything seemed to be going.
From that meeting I especially remember him telling me about services where he had spoken.
– I encouraged the listeners to believe. After the services a man came up to me. He said he was not a believer, but said he had heard how I told the listeners they could believe personally wherever they were sitting. He wanted to believe the gospel.
We then left each other in God’s peace. We did not know that this was the last time we met.
Once again on a Wednesday I was sitting and reading Päivämies. I was almost done and came to the obituary page. I paused, startled. I was deep in memories again. My friend from many camps – his name was next to a cross. Remembered by his wife, children, grandchildren, friends and many others. He would be buried in his home congregation in three weeks’ time.
In my mind I thank all of you who contribute to the issues of Päivämies that are so important to us. I know that my quiet thanks from this house where I am sitting in my chair will not reach you who regularly write for Päivämies. Nevertheless, I would like to present my thanks through this blog post.
I turn the last page. My reading session has come to an end. I know that many of the articles scheduled for the next issue have already been started or even completed and are waiting for the publication day. I remain to wait for the next Wednesday.
Oikeudessa puidaan pian sitä, mitä saa Suomessa uskonnonvapauden nimissä julkisesti sanoa. Samalla punnitaan kahden perusoikeuden, uskonnonvapauden ja sananvapauden suhdetta. Molemmat ovat Suomen perustuslain mukaan luovuttamattomia ja suojattuja oikeuksia.
Mikaelan perheessä ei paljon puhuta asioista. Tehdään töitä, käydään koulua. Mutta jossain pinnan alla on salaisuus, joka saa äidin hyräilemään surumielisesti ja Mikaelan silmäilemään tarkemmin muutamia nuoria koulun käytävillä ja ruokalassa.
Annika Koivukankaan runoissa heittäydytään nuoren elämän aallokkoon, sen iloihin ja kipuihin, koettelemuksiin ja arjen suloiseen turvaan – kun on usko, johon nojata ja rinnalla saattajia. Syviä tuntoja keventää raikas huumori: ”Kunpa voisin asettua hetkeksi koiran turkkiin. / Tuntea sen lämmön / karkumatkojen tuoksun / ja myllätyn kukkapenkin ilon. Paijaavia sormia riittäisi.”
Kahdeksanvuotias Nalle Karhunen on kuusivuotiaan Nupun eli Omenaposken viisas, kiltti ja hellä isoveli. Joskus Nalle käyttäytyy kuin talviuniltaan herätetty hurja ja äkkipikainen karhu. Silloin Nupun on parasta lähteä ulos tai laittaa oman huoneen ovi visusti kiinni.
Kirjoittajat eri puolilta maailmaa kertovat siitä, kuinka Jumala on johdattanut heidät valtakuntaansa. Kertomuksia yhdistää kokemus kotiinpaluusta, Raamatun mukaisen uskon löytymisestä ja uskovaisten välisestä rakkaudesta.