“Absent Love” – Bonhoeffer

Not only is God amazing…but He’s also amazing.  I began to be hit by the reality of leaving the people I love so much last night while at church and after.  And then I picked up my daily devo reading of Bonhoeffer quotes, and this is what was there for February 13th:

“Nothing can make up for the absence of a someone whom we love, and it would be wrong to try to find a substitute; we must simply hold out and see it through.  That sounds very hard at first, but at the same time it is a great consolation, for the gap, as long as it remains unfilled, preserves the bonds between us.  It is nonsense to say that God fills the gap; God does not fill it, but on the contrary, God keeps it empty and so helps us keep alive our former communion with each other, even at the cost of pain…The dearer and richer our memories, the more difficult the separation.  But gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy.  The beauties of the past are borne, not as a thorn in the flesh, but as a precious gift in themselves.  We must take care not to wallow in our memories or to hand ourselves over to them, just as we do not gaze all the time at a valuable present, but only at special times, and apart from these keep it simply as a hidden treasure that is ours for certain.  In this way the past gives us lasting joy and strength.”
 – from Letters and Papers from Prison.  100-101

Dietrich wrote this while in prison, where the very hope of reuniting with his loved ones had to be reserved for heaven only.  How much more is my comfort and joy to be when return is not so distant (seemingly)?  Thanks for reading!!

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