Thursday, January 15, 2009

BIRTHDAYS



One day in 1987, while skeptically listening to a Lummi woman speak of God's loving presence in her life, it occurred to me that a person doesn't have to believe in God to order to believe that another person not only believes in God but has had the experience of feeling loved by that presence they refer to as "God."



Just now, in an email from Daily Celebrations, I learned that Martin Luther King, Jr. and Etty Hillesum share the same birthdate. Today. January 15.

Etty Hillesum was born in 1914. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in 1929.

From Daily Celebrations, about Etty Hillesum:

"Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we
take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for
five short minutes." ~ Etty Hillesum

Dutch writer Etty Hillesum (1914-1943) was born on this day and
studied law and psychology in Amsterdam.One of the millions of
Holocaust victims, she was best known for the insight and inspiration
of her diaries.

She said, "One must also accept that one has 'uncreative' moments.
The more honestly one can accept that, the quicker these moments will
pass."

Her diaries and letters, from 1941-1943 were published in An
Interrupted Life (1982). Describing feeling like a "soul without a
skin," Hillesum captured her thoughts about God and humanity in eight
hand-written notebooks which she began writing nine months after
Hitler's Nazis invaded the Netherlands. She continued writing until
her death two years later.

"We should be willing to act as a balm for all wounds," she observed.
Called the adult counterpart to Anne Frank, Hillesum's writing
passionately celebrated life, the human spirit and the power of love.

In 1943, she and her family were sent to the gas chambers of
Auschwitz. "God is not accountable to us, but we are to Him," she
wrote. "I know what may lie in wait for us.... And yet I find life
beautiful and meaningful."

~Give yourself a moment's breath.

After reading that, I found this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr.:

"Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted."














Ruby Dee does an extraordinary reading of Zora Neale Hurston's novel, THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD.