The Bible tells us that through God’s steadfast love for all creation He has given us the freedom to choose how we will live amidst the beauty & the suffering we encounter through our living. Though we have been given a choice of how we will live & receive the beauty & suffering of life, God walks with us through our life, guides us & awakens us in a wide variety of ways to feed our faith & to help us chose how we will experience & participate in the ultimate meaning of the life He gives us. It is up to us what we chose to do as we move through our days.
The Bible tells us that through God’s steadfast love for all creation, He has given us the freedom to choose how we will live amidst the beauty & the suffering we encounter through our living. Though we have been given a choice of how we will live & receive the beauty & suffering of life, God walks with us through our life, guides us & awakens us in a wide variety of ways to feed our faith & to help us chose how we will experience & participate in the ultimate meaning of the life He gives us. It is up to us what we chose to do as we move through our days.
Few stories illustrate the movement of a person from darkness & despair of what was perceived as a life with no meaning, into the transcendental power given by the spirit of seeing & recognizing the ultimate meaning of life, the story of Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who survived multiple concentration camps during World War II is one such story.
In his writings, Viktor Frankl writes of his experience in Nazi concentration camps during WWII describing a life-giving shift from the meaning of the moments of suffering into understanding the ultimate meaning of life. In describing one winter day in particular he writes: “Another time we were at work in a trench. The dawn was gray around us, gray was the sky above, gray was the snow in the pale light of dawn, gray the rags in which my fellow prisoners were clad & gray their faces. I was struggling to find the reason for my suffering, my slow dying.
In a last violent protest against the hopelessness of imminent death, I sensed my spirit piercing through the enveloping gloom. I felt it transcend that hopeless, meaningless world & from somewhere I heard a victorious ‘YES’ in answer to my question of the existence of an ultimate purpose. At that moment, a light was lit ina distant farmhouse, which stood on the horizon as if painted there, in the midst of the miserable gray of a dawning in Bavaria. ‘And the light shineth in the darkness and the darkness can never overcome it.’ ”
Through the transcendental power of his spirit, Frankl was able to recognize the potentials of the moment of the light lit in the distant farmhouse. The light presented a pathway that awakened & fed his faith & the view he ascribed to the ultimate meaning of life as created as good & whole. His re-awakened faith transcended the hopeless meaningless world of that moment as his hungering spirit was fed & he participated in the hope & beauty of the ultimate meaning of creation, by going forth in faith proclaiming: “the light shines in the darkness & the darkness will never overcome it.”
Frankl survived the suffering of the concentration camps & in leaving the suffering hopelessness behind he chose to go forward witnessing to others the pathway of faith that leads to embracing: “Belief in the sun, even when it is not shining; Belief in Love even when he felt it not; & belief in God even when He is silent”.
May it be so for all of us, as we live through our days of beauty & suffering, seeking the healing, restful, peacefulness of wholeness as we continue to search & live into the ultimate meaning of life, graciously given to us by God.
~Posted by Rev Kathryn Bindig, MDiv. MS; Pastoral Care Minister with assistance from Rich Muscatello; Director of Business Development & Strategy
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