Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year's Gifts

Our world has seen an abundance of tragedies in this past year. I have walked with many who have suffered personal tragedy and all of us have learned of our neighbors suffering from devastating storms, senseless mass murders and unrelenting wars. So much evil and pain that it may easily lead us down the path to doubt.

Where is God? If He is loving, why does He not stop these things from happening?

Of course, I do not know the answer. Even if I could lay out my beliefs, I know they would appear inadequate in the face of both personal and global suffering. There simply are no words.

However, I will share with you a quote and then a video. The quote is from Christ The Eternal Tao, by Hieromonk Damascene. As a bit of background, in ancient China (6th century BC), Lao Tzu wrote about a Being "...fathomless, it seems to be the Source of all things. I do not know its name, but characterize it as the Tao". (The word "Tao" is translated as "The Way"). Around the same time, in a completely different culture, Greek philosopher Heraclitus wrote about "The Logos" (translated as "The Word"): "All entities come to be in accordance with this Logos" which he viewed as the first principle of existence.

Five thousand years later, there was One born into our world who said, "I am the Way". Of this same One, John the Apostle wrote: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God". This is the One who is said to have died and risen from the dead.

And so the author writes, in the manner of Lao Tzu:

"The Great Way empties Himself into His creation
Out of love, in complete self-giving.
He empties Himself,
Yet, being the unchanging Cause of all things,
He remains ever full.

Quenching their desire for created things,
Followers of the Way likewise empty themselves
Out of love, in complete self-giving.
For in emptying themselves as He does,
They are ever filled with Him,
The Ever-full."

As one who strives to be "a follower of the Way", I have seen His self-giving around me in so many ways. Most of those ways defy words. However, in the video below, I will share with you a little of what I encountered of Him during this past year... Blessings on your new year.

(I made this video from some of my favorite photos of 2012. As always, you are welcome to share this video and may download any of my photos for your personal or non-profit use.)