Firm. Unstable. Knowing where to stand


“There is perhaps nothing we modern people need more than to be genuinely shaken up. Where life is firm we need to sense it’s firmness; and where it is unstable and uncertain and has no basis, no foundation, we need to know this too and endure it.”

Alfred Delp

Craig and I have a friend who grew up in a communist run country. After living in Canada for several years, she commented how faith and even prayer are easier to neglect here because so much just runs on automatic. Buses show up at bus stops, things are on time. Because of the stability and predictability, an illusion of control and safety can begin to pervade. Fewer opportunities to exercise faith in Christ muscles can cause faith atrophy to set in.

For the last year I have looked at many of my life assumptions and decided some of them could not support the level of trust I have placed in them. Painful at times, unsettling often, I find this process of discerning what is firm and what is not load bearing confusing, disconcerting. Only recently have I sensed that maybe some clarity and a lot more honesty will be at the end of the tunnel.

What if the holidays bring out a questioning, scrutinizing self? How will my holidays look different?

“What good does it do us to sense and feel our misery unless a bridge is thrown over to the other shore?
What help is it to be terrified at our lostness and confusion unless a light flashes up that is a match for darkness and always is its master?
What good does it do to shiver in the coldness and hardness in which the world freezes as it goes deeper astray in itself and kills itself, unless we also come to know of the grace that is mightier than the peril of oblivion?” Alfred Delp. From his The Shaking Reality of AdventThe Shaking Reality of Advent

Delp penned these queries on handcuffed hands in a prison shortly before the Nazi’s hung him. He was prepping to cross life’s final bridge, but I find his words heartening for the smaller streams I’m crossing.


How Firm a Foundation is Jesus My Lord


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