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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Many kinds of angels

Vieraskieliset / In-english
24.2.2021 7.00

Juttua muokattu:

19.2. 10:01

Mar­ras­kuu, the Fin­nish name of No­vem­ber, me­ans ‘month of de­ath’. It is cer­tain­ly a fit­ting name. No­vem­ber is dead, dark and cold. The last swans have left, and we no lon­ger hear their cons­tant trum­pe­ting song. The lake has gone through a cyc­le of free­zing, tha­wing, re-free­zing and re-tha­wing, and snow has done the same. In bet­ween the snowy pe­ri­ods we have had rain and the eve­nings and nights have been pitch black. Even mor­nings were qui­te dark for a while, but as soon as we got snow, mor­nings took on the lo­ve­ly sha­des of blue twi­light.

The po­lar night creeps on us slow­ly, as it al­wa­ys does at this time of the ye­ar. So­me­ti­mes the very thought of No­vem­ber dark­ness and cold ma­kes me dep­res­sed. But there are al­so ti­mes when I en­joy the cand­le­light in­doors and the win­ter lights hung up on shrubs and trees out­si­de. We gat­her to drink tea in the kitc­hen and lis­ten to the how­ling of wind out­si­de. Or we can do so­met­hing out­doors and ima­gi­ne being in the wind and snow of some re­mo­te arc­tic re­gi­on – and yet find our­sel­ves sa­fe­ly on our own yard!

When I mo­ved here as a yo­ung wife, I was af­raid of the dark. My hus­band did not un­ders­tand my fe­ars. “If you can­not see in the dark, so wha­te­ver may be there can­not see you, eit­her.” I said I was af­raid of ghosts and bo­gies. “Well, be sure not to tell our kids about them, be­cau­se there are no ghosts or bo­gies!” I won­der if I did? Or do we even need to tell any­bo­dy about our fe­ars to make them af­raid? I gu­ess some fe­ars de­ri­ve from the pri­mi­ti­ve ins­tinct of hu­mans, and even ani­mals, and their pur­po­se is to pro­tect them from pre­da­tors and ot­her dan­gers.

I have re­cent­ly been thin­king about fe­ars re­la­ted to faith, or rat­her about the things that pro­tect us from evil and ex­pe­rien­ces that are not good for us. Faith is like a pro­tec­ti­ve wall, a shield against the fie­ry ar­rows of the ene­my of souls.

But what hap­pens if fe­ars grow in­to gi­gan­tic pro­por­ti­ons in the hu­man mind? If they cont­rol our life and cau­se an­xie­ty. They may even af­fect our phy­si­cal and psyc­hic he­alth. They may pre­vent us from be­lie­ving, free­ly, es­pe­ci­al­ly if we do not dare to share them with any­bo­dy, not even where we should find the at­mosp­he­re most ac­cep­ting, en­cou­ra­ging and for­gi­ving. It ta­kes cou­ra­ge to share our fe­ars, es­pe­ci­al­ly if we an­ti­ci­pa­te scat­hing cri­ti­cism or dis­pa­ra­ging com­ments. And it need not be so­met­hing about faith. We may be as­ha­med of cha­rac­te­ris­tics, fe­a­tu­res or ide­as that would be a po­si­ti­ve re­sour­ce if used and ap­p­re­ci­a­ted pro­per­ly.

I have no­ti­ced that when I have men­ti­o­ned some stran­ge thoughts or fe­ars in a dis­cus­si­on, eit­her on pur­po­se or unin­ten­ti­o­nal­ly, it has of­ten tur­ned out that some ot­hers say they have al­so been pon­de­ring about such mat­ters. One may re­cei­ve com­fort and sup­port, and even un­ders­tan­ding, from a surp­ri­sing di­rec­ti­on. Thoughts are like birds, we can­not pre­vent them from flying over our he­ads, but we should pre­vent them from ma­king their nest there.

When SRK re­cent­ly pro­po­sed to ar­ran­ge mis­si­on ser­vi­ces in Po¬si¬o, we vo­lun­tee­red to host them, so that we would not need to ask around for wil­ling hosts. As the date of the ser­vi­ces ap­p­ro­ac­hed, I be­gan to won­der about masks, so­ci­al dis­tan­cing, ca­te­ring and the num­ber of gu­ests. I was wor­ried there might be so many gu­ests that we could not ob­ser­ve the re­com­men­ded pre­cau­ti­ons. I was al­most re­a­dy to can­cel the ser­vi­ces, but in the end they went re­al­ly well. We had two gu­ests in ad­di­ti­on to our fa­mi­ly. The ser­mons were so touc­hing that I could have sworn the spe­a­kers had been spying on my thoughts. I truly felt that they were exact­ly the kind of good words that the lis­te­ners nee­ded. Our He­a­ven­ly Fat­her knows what we need.

We had good ser­vi­ces and were left with a fee­ling that we want to host ser­vi­ces again in the fu­tu­re. We al­so en­jo­yed dis­cus­sing with the spe­a­kers af­ter­wards. They had such a lot of in­te­res­ting sto­ries about their ex­pe­rien­ces. One of the spe­a­kers re­min­ded us that an an­gel may come in the form of a big hulk of a man. It is said in the Heb­rews: ”Do not for­get to show hos­pi­ta­li­ty to stran­gers, for by so doing some pe­op­le have shown hos­pi­ta­li­ty to an­gels wit­hout kno­wing it.” (Heb. 13:2).

I am gra­te­ful for the vi­sits and dis­cus­si­ons with spe­a­kers in my child­hood home and those that I share with my fa­mi­ly in our own home. There are mo­ments when an or­di­na­ry Fri­day eve­ning seems fes­ti­ve, and our home ser­vi­ces are like an oa­sis in the de­sert. Surp­ri­se vi­si­tors af­ter a yo­uth eve­ning are like an­gels. And so are friends who sit down at the pi­a­no and sug­gest that we sing a Christ­mas ca­rol or two, be­cau­se it is al­re­a­dy No­vem­ber and it is okay to start sin­ging Christ­mas ca­rols. I am gra­te­ful for gu­ests who lis­ten to my wor­ries and con­cerns and le­a­ve us in God’s Pe­a­ce. It was so good that you came!

Text: Sal­la Pät­si

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen


Sinä, Herra, olet hyvä, sinä annat anteeksi, runsain mitoin sinä jaat armoasi kaikille, jotka sinua avuksi huutavat. Ps. 86:5

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