An Easter Meditation ~ Love

Reflects my thoughts for Maundy Thursday into Good Friday ~

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And the darkness and horror and heartbreak dragged on through Friday. Most thought when Jesus died on the cross ~ it was over. But some parts of creation watched. And waited ~

After the darkness … and the watching … The Light burst forth. And an angel said to the women, “He is not here: for he is risen as he said.” ~ Matthew 28:6

Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!

And Easter morning “Arise, My Love” was sung … and I was undone. Undone by clearly hearing The Father’s heart bursting with love for The Son when He says:

“Arise, My Love, the grave no longer has a hold on you.”

Who can resist such a heart full of love expressed so tenderly? Not me. I wept most of the day, because that same heart full of love is also for me. And for you.

This song, decades old, is by Newsong. I’d never heard it. Have you? I’ve listened to a number of versions on youtube since then. Some with videos; some with only singers. The simple version I heard Easter Sunday at Shadow Mountain Community Church still seems the most beautiful rendition. You can listen to it if you’d like by accessing the church’s archives for a few weeks. “Arise, My Love” can be heard at 23:30 if you don’t have time or inclination to listen to the entire service. (But Pastor Jeremiah is well worth listening to. :-) ) May you know and feel that love, and the peace of the baby rabbit ~ waiting.

Fear. Faith. Family. A SPARROW IN TEREZIN by Kristy Cambron

sparrow-in-terezin-cambron

Bound together across time, two women will discover a powerful connection through one survivor’s story of hope in the darkest days of a war-torn world.

Present Day—With the grand opening of her new art gallery and a fairy–tale wedding just around the corner, Sera James feels like she’s stumbled into a charmed life—until a brutal legal battle against fiancé William Hanover threatens to destroy their future before it even begins.

Now, after an eleventh-hour wedding ceremony and a callous arrest, William faces a decade in prison for a crime he never committed, and Sera must battle the scathing accusations that threaten her family and any hope for a future with the man she loves.

1942—Kája Makovsky narrowly escaped Nazi-occupied Prague in 1939 and was forced to leave behind her half-Jewish family. Now a reporter for The Daily Telegraph in England, Kája discovers the terror has followed her across the Channel in the shadowy form of the London Blitz. When she learns Jews are being exterminated by the thousands on the continent, she has no choice but to return to her mother city, risking her life to smuggle her family to freedom and peace.

Connecting across a century through one little girl, a Holocaust survivor with a foot in each world, these two women will discover a kinship that springs even in the darkest of times. In this tale of hope and survival, Sera and Kája must cling to the faith that sustains them and fight to protect all they hold dear–even if it means placing their own futures on the line.   [from back cover]

For some people there are hundreds of things that spark hope and joy. But for Europeans living during the 1940s, choices, safety, and reasons for optimism were shrinking.

800px-monmouth_regimental_museum_-_qrpedia_5In A Sparrow in Terezin Kristy Cambron works her alchemy of words and brings her story world to life in my living room—even more so in my mind and heart. While stories set in WW II may seem already too familiar, Cambron’s impressive research allows her novels to brim with new information, twists, perspectives. As in The Butterfly and the Violin, the first of the Hidden Masterpiece series, Cambron introduces places and incidents that were new to me. And her writing style with fresh images makes the stories even more enjoyable. For example, in all the WW II movies I’ve seen or reading I’ve done, I had never been shown an infant in a pram covered tip to toe in a special suit to protect him like the adults carried gas masks. *

I’ve enjoyed numerous split-time novels. But in A Sparrow in Terezin, as eras shifted I was at times reluctant to leave. I felt less engaged in Sera’s present day story than in Kája’s. I wondered if spending more time in each story before switching eras might have solved that particular problem, but I’m not certain. As the stories progressed I did become more engaged. And Cambron’s gift for making the horrors of war real yet tinged with hope is a big reason.

Numerous themes are presented: hope, love, faith, sacrifice, family. These interplay and inspire. And the book includes many surprises. While not all loose ends are tied up at the conclusion, I found the ending satisfying. Though I must say, closing the cover of a Cambron book is never a complete pleasure because many months will pass before another of her tales is available. I highly recommend this book.

*1939 Second World War-era baby’s gas mask in Monmouth Regimental Museum. This design covered the whole of the baby except for its legs. Photo By Rock drum – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19528798

WHERE LOVE IS …

Each year we spend time in the story “Where Love Is” by Leo Tolstoy. Sometimes we read, but our favorite is to listen to the amazing radio drama version played years ago on the Moody Bible station. A bit of it follows~

God tells recently widowed shoemaker Martin that He will visit this day. Listening to it is HOME IN EDIN w garden apt blog postso rich. We’re impacted by even the sound of the wind blowing when Martin opens his door to assist a child pelted with snowballs. We’re caught up at the crunch of snow as tired street sweeper Ivan walks away, warmed by Martin’s mug of hot tea and pair of gloves. 

Martin’s assistance to others passing his window continues, but his disappointment is palpable as the day grows late. He sighs, glancing at the window. “Lord, I thought you were coming today. … I guess it was only a dream. A lonely old man’s dream.” 

LukeHe opens his Bible and reads from Luke, but his eyelids grow heavy and he slumbers. Suddenly a voice calls his name. He startles, runs to the door, and flings it open. 

Darkness stared back. He slammed it. “Acht. Another dream.” 

“No, Martin. It is I, your Lord.”

“But, Lord, where were you? I thought you were coming to visit me   today.” Martin held his breath. Maybe he should not complain to the Savior.

            “But I did come today, Martin. You were a wonderful host. Did you not see me?”

            “No, Lord. I did not see you. When did you come?”

“But you fed me, Martin. You warmed me, and you clothed me.” 

Martin scratched his head. “Lord, when did I feed you? Or warm or clothe you? I did not see you.” 

Then the soft, clear voice said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

Hearty soupIn his mind, Martin saw the old street sweeper; the sad, young lad; the frightened young mother with the hungry child. And he smiled.

“Thank you, dear Lord, for visiting me today.”

“It was my pleasure, Martin.” *

 What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?

 I hope this one blesses you and brings you joy this Christmas.

[* Note: Section above is transcribed from the Moody Bible broadcast, but I’m unable to give credit to specific copywriters as MBN can no longer locate information about this radio play. The entire story is available on-line to read free or for purchase from various book sellers.] 

 

(adapted from a previous post)

Where Love is …

Each year we spend time in the story “Where Love Is” by Leo Tolstoy. Sometimes we read, but our favorite is to listen to the amazing radio drama version played years ago on the Moody Bible station. 

God tells recently widowed shoemaker Martin that He will visit this day. Listening to it is so rich. We’re impacted by even the sound of the wind blowing when Martin opens his door to assist a child pelted with snowballs. We’re caught up at the crunch of snow as tired street sweeper Ivan walks away, warmed by Martin’s mug of hot tea and pair of gloves. 

Martin’s assistance to others passing his window continues, but his disappointment is palpable as the day grows late. He sighs, glancing at the window. “Lord, I thought you were coming today. … I guess it was only a dream. A lonely old man’s dream.” 

He opens his Bible and reads from Luke, but his eyelids grow heavy and he slumbers. Suddenly a voice calls his name. He startles, runs to the door, and flings it open. 

 

Darkness stared back. He slammed it. “Acht. Another dream.” 

“No, Martin. It is I, your Lord.”

“But, Lord, where were you? I thought you were coming to visit me   today.” Martin held his breath. Maybe he should not complain to the Savior.

            “But I did come today, Martin. You were a wonderful host. Did you not see me?”

            “No, Lord. I did not see you. When did you come?”

“But you fed me, Martin. You warmed me, and you clothed me.” 

Martin scratched his head. “Lord, when did I feed you? Or warm or clothe you? I did not see you.” 

Then the soft, clear voice said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

In his mind, Martin saw the old street sweeper; the sad, young lad; the frightened young mother with the hungry child. And he smiled.

“Thank you, dear Lord, for visiting me today.”

“It was my pleasure, Martin.” *

 What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?

[* Note: Section transcribed from the Moody Bible broadcast, but I’m unable to give credit to specific copywriters as MBN can no longer locate information about this radio play. ]

(adapted from a previous post)

Where Love is

Each year we spend time in the story “Where Love Is,” by Leo Tolstoy. Sometimes we read, but our favorite is to listen to the amazing radio drama version played years ago on the Moody Bible station. 

God tells recently widowed shoemaker Martin that He will visit this day. Listening to it is so rich. We’re impacted by even the sound of the wind blowing when Martin opens his door to assist a child pelted with snowballs. We’re caught up at the crunch of snow as tired street sweeper Ivan walks away, warmed by Martin’s mug of hot tea and pair of gloves. 

Martin’s assistance to others passing his window continues, but his disappointment is palpable as the day grows late. He sighs, glancing at the window. “Lord, I thought you were coming today. … I guess it was only a dream. A lonely old man’s dream.” 

He opens his Bible and reads from Luke, but his eyelids grow heavy and he slumbers. Suddenly a voice calls his name. He startles, runs to the door, and flings it open. 

 

Darkness stared back. He slammed it. “Acht. Another dream.” 

“No, Martin. It is I, your Lord.”

“But, Lord, where were you? I thought you were coming to visit me   today.” Martin held his breath. Maybe he should not complain to the Savior.

            “But I did come today, Martin. You were a wonderful host. Did you not see me?”

            “No, Lord. I did not see you. When did you come?”

“But you fed me, Martin. You warmed me, and you clothed me.” 

Martin scratched his head. “Lord, when did I feed you? Or warm or clothe you? I did not see you.” 

Then the soft, clear voice said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

In his mind, Martin saw the old street sweeper; the sad, young lad; the frightened young mother with the hungry child. And he smiled.

“Thank you, dear Lord, for visiting me today.”

“It was my pleasure, Martin.” *

 What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?

[* Note: Section transcribed from the Moody Bible broadcast, but I’m unable to give credit to specific copywriters as MBN can no longer locate information about this radio play. ]