From Eternity to Eternity

From Eternity to Eternity

“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come,nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

I have always been very conscious of my clock-time. Often I asked myself: “Can I still double my years?” When I was thirty I said: “I can easily live another thirty!” When I was forty, I mused, “Maybe I am only halfway!” Today I can no longer say that, and my question has become: “How am I going to use the few years left to me?” All these concerns about our clock-time come from below. They are based on the presupposition that our chronology is all we have to live. But looked upon from above, from God’s perspective, our clock-time is embedded in the timeless embrace of God. Looked upon from above, our years on earth are not simply chronos, but kairos—another Greek word for time—which is the opportunity to claim for ourselves the love that God offers us from eternity to eternity.” Henri Nouwen
——————————————————————————————
    This verse lifts up the limitless capacity of God’s people to love and create. In these days when I do not feel like I belong any where, where I feel like I really have no friends–but acquaintances, my smallness is put into context by this verse–and I feel the enormity of my connection to all the cosmos that God has filled with divine love.
    I am simply a no body, another creature, created for a time, and will move soon into eternity, unsure of what is ahead, but trusting in the One this verse proclaims.
    On social media and our media we see remarks of anger and destruction of statues–which is telling people that they were wrong, when in reality it is only half truth. We judge from our context rather than the context of the times.
    For example George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Juniper Serra, Mother Teresa, are but four in which we judge totally from our times, where we live, and our own experience. We need to judge from their times, and where they lived. Our time, and our culture is not absolute.
    They were far from perfect, but for their culture and their times they offered hope. Their times were brutal times, and so is  ours. Our times are just as brutal if not more brutal. We have social media, television, atomic bombs, that can absolutely destroy us in mind, and spirit and body.
    I am a southerner, and in recent weeks there have had been people say really horrible things to me, when they have no idea about what the hell they are talking about.
    I am proud to be a southerner. My back ground has given me the compassion that I show  people every day; it has given me an appreciation for community, and for family outside of my blood relatives and an appreciation of hospitality. It has given me the capacity to meet people one on one, and to love them for who they are.  In seminary there was an attempt to remove my accent through speech training–I refused to participate. I am proud to be a southerner.
    You look at the history of every region in this country, and you will find the different biases, and and pasts that still haunt us. All of us are covered in blood.
    Recently there were four people who surrounded, threatened, and cussed me because of a ta too of Juinper Serra on my arm. They called me every name in the book, and one waved a knife threatening to cut it off unless I had it removed. I told them to go to hell, and they ran because I did not back down.
    So tell me: Is this behavior any less barbaric than the behavior of Father Serra’s time. Are we going to destroy the churches he founded? I spent a semester researching him–yes he was a part of his times, yes he acted out of those times, but he stood out for his compassion and caring.
    The same goes for homelessness. We simply are not aware of how severe the  housing shortage is, and how severe it is going to get. There is little housing for homeless individuals , and many more  will lose their housing and be on the streets. We need to look what is beneath the problem, and be willing to give of ourselves to provide housing. The politicians  will only do what we ask them to do. we have to be involved, all of us.
    There is an old saying, “Do not judge another until you walk a mile in their moccasins”; “When you point one finger at a person you are pointing four at yourself.”
    This old southerner claims  “kairos—another Greek word for time—which is the opportunity to claim for ourselves the love that God offers us from eternity to eternity.”
   What this means for us is that we will meet anyone in the middle, we will discuss, even argue, in the bounds of the love of God, and if we do not come to an agreement, we can simply walk away with respect and love for each other. Like the story of two knights going into battle one morning, and than at the end of the day, when  one is defeated or no one is, shake hands, and parting say to one another, “Great fight, we will fight again tomorrow,” and then they sit down to supper together.
    Living in “kairo”  time means we meet each other on the grounds of love, even when we hate each other, and see all sides, and respect all sides, and keep on meeting until we meet in the middle and agree. Deo Gratias! Thanks be to God!
———————————————
Father River Damien Sims, sfw, D.Min., D.S.T.
P.O. Box 642656
San  Francisco, CA 94164
www.temenos.org

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply