495 years ago today, in 1525, the Swiss Anabaptist Movement was founded when Conrad Grebel, Felix Manz, George Blaurock, and about a dozen others baptized each other, breaking a thousand-year tradition of church-state union. (Historical Calendar https://goo.gl/TDME3p )
Below is a hymn by Felix Manz, who was martyred for his faith by drowning in Lake Zurich in January of 1527, becoming the first casualty of the Zurich council’s edict that made adult rebaptism punishable by drowning.
Here is the hymn in German and in English:
Mit Lust so will ich singen
Mein Herz freut sich in Gott
Der mir viel Kunst thut bringen,
Dasz ich entrinn dem Tod
Der ewiglich nimmet kein End.
Ich preiz dich Christ vom Himmel,
Der mir mein Kummer wend.
With gladness will I now sing;
My heart delights in God,
Who showed me such forbearance
That I from death was saved
Which never hath an end.
I praise Thee, Christ in heaven
Who all my sorrow changed.
I am grateful for my forbears and the faith passed down to me by my family.
May I be as courageous.
against foreign sand
reeking of fish spume
by divine’s demand
to where my enemies loom
in a strange land
birthed from whale’s womb
a jagged command
be freed from leviathan’s tomb!
when i’ve lost
patience with humanity
and sightings of
rainbows are rare
i am reminded
only comes through
and i give thanks
that life is
for divine judgement
and i too
of god’s weird
I no longer wish to be unbroken.
Rather I seek to embrace my brokeness
in the hope that the Light will shine out through the cracks in my heart.
(From February 24, 2016)
It was not too long ago when I stood on the precipice and caught a glimpse of the pit far below.
What I saw was me, yet it was a me distorted by a mind sick with depression. As that vision threatened to reach up and cast me down, I stepped back from the brink into the healing embrace of medication, a renewed sense of God’s love and the care of God’s people, and to a deeper commitment to prayerful writing.
The discipline of daily contemplative reflections from my interactions with the world around me has become a life line for me.
This place where we reside is not without its sadness. But such does not need to discount the inevitable joys. Depression skews the view towards the melancholy.
I am broken. So are you. That acknowledgement does not preclude our healing. We do ourselves and others a disservice when we are less than honest with our pain. But that is not the end of the story.
There is healing. Or at least a coming to terms with our existence. Joy indeed comes in the morning. And that morning comes with each new day we are privileged to see another sunrise.
So I continue in this daily discipline of prayer/writing. Each morning, I turn my face to the east and await the healing words that come with the sun.
I am the creature crying at 4am.
I am the sleeper who responds with grace.
I am the relief that comes with the release of waste.
I am the grateful lick I taste.
I am the watcher in the chair far away.
I am the room in a healing place.
I am the father who waits for the phone call.
I am he with hands for a face.
i dont want
you to see
there is a
(Featured image with kaleidescope filter #GodsView)