Jun 5, 2014

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MEDITATION: We’re not gone!

MEDITATION: We’re not gone!

I believe that I shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage (Psalm 27:13-14)

In his autobiographical book “Report to Greco” the well known writer Niko Kazantzakis tells about his youth in Crete and how difficult life sometimes became.

Also how the inhabitants survived their calamities and setbacks with courage and dignity. In this regard one memory stood out for him. That was when their vineyards and dried raisins one year were flooded and destroyed within minutes by a freak storm.

When the storm started Kazantzakis as a young curious teenager ran outside to see what was happening. Soaked and anxious he shortly afterwards returned to his home, anxious to see how his father had reacted.

Arriving there he found his father standing in the door motionless, biting his moustache. His mother stood behind him, weeping. Not sure whether his family knew the real extent of the damage he shouted: “Father, our grapes are gone!”

To which his father responded tersely: “We’re not gone. So shut up!”

Kazantzakis then concluded his version of this incident by writing:

“I never forgot that moment. I believe that it served as a great lesson in the crises of my life. I always remembered my father standing calmly, motionless on the threshold, neither cursing, entreating, nor weeping. Motionless, he stood watching the disaster and – alone among all the neighbours – preserved his human dignity.”

Surely this is also an important lesson for us – especially for those of us who tend to overreact, panic and lose their calm, faith and dignity in times of disaster and setbacks.

Carel Anthonissen

(Photo: Isaac Sobe)

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