Now and Then

One of Fredrick Buechner’s autobiographies is titled, “Now and Then: A Memoir of Vocation.” It is a title built on a powerful phrase by Paul Tillich, to whom he gives homage.

“We want only to show you something we have seen and to tell you something we have heard… that here and there in the world and now and then in ourselves is a New Creation.”      The New Beginning

It seems to me to be a humble comment on the fragility of anything in us to proclaim something glorious from us. “Now and then in ourselves – there exists a new creation” says more about the Creator than about creation.  Nevertheless, new creation that we become, we herald something of the Creator based on His gracious interaction with us: something we have seen and heard.

As the basis of our prayer, reflect on this grace found near the end of his memoir:

“There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly… if I were called upon to state a few words [on] the essence of everything… it would be something like this:

Listen to your life.  See it as for the fathomless mystery that it is.  In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

Creator God, You who create something hiddenly, recognizably, fascinatingly, compellingly and hauntingly, draw me into listening to You speak through my life.

Help me to see it for the fathomless mystery that it is; all the pieces from boredom and pain, through excitement and gladness, let me touch, taste and smell my way to the holy and hidden heart of all the key moments of life that disclose Your grace.

And then… let us show something we have seen and tell something we have heard… that here and there in the world and now and then in ourselves… is a New Creation.

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About R.H. (Rusty) Foerger

As I enter the third third of life, I am becoming aware of the role of elders today “to enlarge spiritual vision, being devoted to prayer, living in the face of death, as a living curriculum of the Christian life” (Dr. James M. Houston). I am a life long and life wide learner who seeks to: *decipher the enigma of our worth *rescue from the agony of prayerlessness *integrate spiritual friendship.
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One Response to Now and Then

  1. Pingback: Now and Then | More Enigma Than Dogma

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