Tag Archive: love


Vertaal vanaf Ash Wednesday (Jim Burklo)

Op my voorkop

‘n Teken van die kruis

Gesmeer in as vanuit die vuur

Wat my hubris-paleis afgebrand het

 

En, saam met dit,

Die geld wat ek weg moes gee,

Die TV wat ek as sintuigverdower gebruik het,

Die tapyt waarop ek veronderstel was

om op te verskyn,

Die deure wat ek vir veronderstel was

om vir ander oop te maak,

Die koeverte wat ek veronderstel was

om vir liefdesbriewe te gebruik

Die wyse boeke wat ek so oop en bloot uitstal,

om die illusie te skep dat ek dit gelees het,

Die lee spasies in my fotoalbums,

waar my donkerder, swaarder, seerder oomblikke onthou moes word,

Die kalenders waar besoeke aan die wat dit die meeste nodig gehad het,

geskeduleer moes word,

Die rusbank van my verlamende oorgerustheid,

Die gemakstoel van my luiheid,

Die hemde wat ek volgestop het met my eie trots,

Die skoene wat ek met ander moes ruil,

sodat ons gereisde myle kon deel.

Op my voorkop

‘n Teken van die kruispad,

Waar ek kan wegdraai van die pad van verderf,

Na die Weg van die Lewe.

(vertaling deur Hanno Langenhoven)

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Verwerk vanaf Ash Wednesday (Jim Burklo)

 

Liturg:            Op my voorkop

Gemeente:    ‘n Teken van die kruis

 

Liturg:            Gesmeer in vuur-verteerde as

Gemeente:    My afgebrande hubris-paleis

 

Liturg:            En ook veras, die geld

Gemeente:    Wat ek weg moes gee,

 

Liturg:            Die TV

Gemeente:    My keuse vir sintuigverdowing,

 

Liturg:            Die tapyt

Gemeente:    Waarop ek eintlik moes verskyn,

 

Liturg:            Die deure

Gemeente:    Wat ek eintlik vir ander  moes oop maak,

 

Liturg:            Die koeverte

Gemeente:    Wat ek eintlik vir liefdesbriewe moes gebruik het

 

Liturg:            Die uitgestalde boeke

Gemeente:    My gefeinsde aanspraak op insig

 

Liturg:            Die ongebalanseerde fotoalbums,

Gemeente:    My vergete oomblikke van swaarkry en mislukking

 

Liturg:            Die leë kalenders

Gemeente:    My versuimde afsprake aan die in nood

 

Liturg:            Die rusbank

Gemeente:    Van my verlamende oorgerustheid,

 

Liturg:            Die gemakstoel

Gemeente:    Van my luiheid,

 

Liturg:            Die hemde

Gemeente:    Persoonlik volgestop met eie trots,

 

Liturg:            Die ongeruilde skoene

Gemeente:    en ongedeelde reise saam met ander.

 

Liturg:            Op my voorkop

Gemeente:    ‘n Teken van die kruispad,

 

Liturg:            Waar ek kan wegdraai

Gemeente:    van die pad van verderf,

Gemeente:    Na die Weg van die Lewe.

 

(verwerking deur Hanno Langenhoven)

‘n Jeugwerker in ‘n Afrikaanse gemeente. Moontlik is daar twee benaderings, iemand wat dit doen bloot net as ‘n werk, en iemand wat leef met ‘n liefde en passie vir God, kinders en jong mense as sy/haar kern. Ek vermoed dat net die tweede persoon werlik ‘n jeugwerker in die ware sin van die word kan wees, of soos Robert Frost sê “[The] object of living is to unite, avocation and vocation, only where love and need is one, the deed is ever really done, for Heaven and the future’s sakes.”

Ek is nie seker of ons altyd weet wat ‘n jeugwerker moet doen nie. In die eerste plek sien ek iemand wat bereid is om tyd saam met kinders en jong mense te spandeer, om werklik na hulle te luister. In tweede plek sien ek ‘n jeugwerker as iemand wat die volgende van nature doen:

  • Die beskerming van die verwondering en onskuld van elke kind en jong mens,
  • Die skep van ‘n veilige ruimte waarbinne kinders en jong mense hulself kan wees,
  • Die skep van ‘n veilige ruimte waarbinne kinders en jong mense hul seer kan deel,
  • Die skep van ‘n veilige ruimte wat kinders en jong mense help om heel te raak,
  • Die skep van ‘n ruimte waarbinne kinders en jong mense konkreet God se liefde onvoorwaardelik kan ervaar.
  • Vermoedelik ‘n ruimte waarbinne daar minder gepreek en meer gewees moet word.

‘n Jeugwerker met ‘n liefde vir God, kinders en jong mense as kern kan nie anders as om moeite te maak om die konteks(te) en metafore van die kinders en jong mense te leer ken nie, asook dieselde energie aan die dag lê om God se betrokkenheid by hulle raak te sien. Dit is wanneer die persoon God se teenwoordigheid en betrokkenheid by die kinders en jong mense as’t ware ontdek dat hy/sy sinvol met hulle kan praat oor hul ervaring van God. Dit raak dan nie ‘n preek van bo af nie, maar ‘n deel van elke eie storie, ook die storie van die jeugwerker.

Ek dink dit is die enigste outentieke benadering tot jeugbediening, een waar die kinders en jong mense gesien word as kerk in eie reg, met real belewenisse en ‘n struggle om dit altyd te verwoord. Dit lei tot die vraag wat my dryf, hoe is ons kerk vandag sodat ons kinders, wat vandag dalk 4 of 5 is, nog oor 30 jaar gaan glo? Dalk is die vraag vir my van soveel belang omdat my eie seuntjie amper 6 jaar jonk is. Dit is dus ‘n diep persoonlike vraag, hoe leef ek vandag my geloof uit sodat kinders en jong mense oor 30 jaar nog gaan glo. Die ander kant van die muntstuk is vir my, hoe maak ek my geloof tasbaar in my lewe sodat my kind en ons kinders dit kan beleef en ook hul geloof tasbaar wil maak in hul lewe tot ‘n boodskap van hoop in die wêreld.

I am here, because God is.

I don’t always know what the latter means,

But I believe that, somehow,

It says that God is involved

With me

With my community

With the community at large

And ultimately with the community we call Earth.

Now, yesterday, and tomorrow.

 

I am here, because I belief that I can only know God because of God’s revelation

Especially in community

I confess that Jesus, the Christ

Is the pinnacle of this revelation

That in him God’s compassion,

Love,

And self-sacrifice is absolutely present.

 

I am here, because, even though Christ is not physically with us anymore,

His Spirit,

The absolute presence of God’s compassion,

Love,

And self-sacrifice is with us

Through the gift that is the Holy Spirit.

It seems that the one constant on internet forums, at least as far as religious dialogues go, is intolerance for the other opinion. Believers don’t gladly suffer non-believers and vice versa, Christians versus Atheists, Muslims and even other Christians, and again vice versa.

Christians so often take a type of spiritual high ground, claiming to know something or at least someone that the others don’t. Sometimes they even claim to know something of someone which other Christians don’t. A subjective understanding is mistaken for an absolute acquaintance and intimate knowledge of the ultimate mystery. It seems the humbleness of the Rabbi is forgotten.

Non-believers, on the other hand, often retreat into the bastion of reason. From here they lob high-handed pronouncements, often in the form of insults, to the so called dim-witted, superstitious believers who hold on, according to them, to worldviews and other opinions that was already thrown out with yesterday’s trash.

Why is it that these forums are so often riddled by an intolerant few? I would like to venture two reasons although I am certain there are many more that can be considered. Firstly, it seems that any chest-beating is accompanied by a certain sense of insecurity, that 0.0001% of doubt that creeps in during the quiet of the night. A sense that maybe, just maybe, we are not quite as right, quite as absolute as we would like to be; a nagging sense that there might be more to the universe, the world, and even transcended, at least other, realities to my own. With all the data we are bombarded with every day, it is almost impossible not to acknowledge that the model we build and the narratives we construct does not 100% reflect Reality nor Narrative. This begs the question, is there such a thing as Reality or Narrative and, if there is, can we have objective, maybe even subjective, access to it?

It does however seem that the more and louder the chest-beating seems to be, the louder and challenging our own insecurities is, at least as far as the way we build our models and narrate our stories.

Secondly, it seems that we suffer from a good dose, maybe a severe overdose, of arrogance. We simply know. Contrary to the postulation that we might not have the free access to the Reality that we think we have, we construct from the perspective that we do not only have access to Reality but that we have unbridled, objective, and absolute access. It seems that we think that we can transcend ourselves in order to be completely objective and have the language ability to formulate the exactness of the Reality without limiting it. Of course only the I and those who agree exactly with the I has this ability. What is interesting is the assumption that we can transcend our own subjectivity at will, but that something Transcendent can’t exist.

Thus, maybe it is time we should all heed the call of the ancients and the contemporaries, from Confucius, The Buddha, Jesus Christ, Florence Nightingale, Dorothy Day, Karen Armstrong, and The Dalai Lama that the mark of an adult person who lives with happiness and contentment in his/her skin, one would be able to argue, in her/his own faith, is the ability to live with the Golden Rule, with compassion. And if you are wondering what this rule is, here it is in its positive form: Do onto others as you would like them do onto you, this might just lead to dialogues where we listen to others and really hear them, rather than construct what they are saying from our own preconceived ideas.

The new Pope urged the faithful to translate the sacraments they received into their daily life. It seems this is a message that all of us, at least those of us who think of ourselves as followers of The Way, need to heed. The one criticism of the Church, both the institution and the believers who form it, that cannot be ignored is the way that confession and lifestyle seems to be two different things.

It seems that the majority of the Church’s energy is spent on getting members to belief in a certain way and justifying to others, believers and non-believers, why their way is the correct way. In this system formulation, the correct words, standard creeds, finely crafted dogma, and traditional confessions are of the utmost importance. The mind and reason becomes, not only the home, but the fortress of belief and the power structures of the church; the stewards of the fortress. The sad part is that the verbal-war, that is constant waging between every possible tag you can imagine, has grown toxically stale.

A world, in the midst of severe suffering, complex trauma, losing every last shred of hope, is in desperate need of the faithful making real the very essence of their faith; G-d who so love the world, that had so much compassion, that G-d-self became part of the suffering. It is where the faithful starts to venture out of the fortress of belief into a thirsty and hungry world, urged by the core of the sacraments to live according to faith, that the verbal-war becomes an irrelevant nuisance. It is where honest pilgrims daily live from the source that ground them in the reality of G-d, that a glimmer of hope breaks through and differences in dogma and creed is transcended.

It is long overdue that the faithful realize that living out a confessed faith is much more important than confessing it absolutely right.

The newspaper headlines proclaimed on the lampposts and airwave that caught my attention was “Sex workers do not go to Church” and “Woman bishops: Church of England votes no”. The latter set the blogosphere ablaze with articles highlighting the absurdity of being penis-endowed as one (the most important?) of the criteria for being a bishop.

The first headline did not have merely the same exposure as the latter, but read in conjunction with the latter, telling none the less. But before I continue my way of thinking on the interaction between the two headlines, please allow me a short side comment on my immediate context, the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa. It would be easy to side step this debate on woman being part of the clergy because women have been ordained as ministers of the church for some time already. Such a manoeuvre would unfortunately not be the most honest appraisal of how licensed and ordained women experience the equality of the clerical playing field in the church.

It might not be surprising that sex workers, many of them being woman, don’t attend worship in the same place where woman are excluded from facilitating the worship. It might just be that in rethinking what church we desperately need to realize that we are all created in the image of G-d, that to be fully church we both need female and male voices, and that a more feminine approach might be the transformative power we desperately need in our current day and age. Maybe the time has come that we take the Holy Scriptures more seriously if it refers to the church as the Bride of Christ, intrinsically female. If we do that, how is it possible to exclude woman from clergy and make sex workers feel unwelcome?

I wish I could promise you prosperity, wealth, and health. This, however, is not my privilege. What I can promise you is more fragile, more vulnerable, more humanish.

I promise you, my Love, that I will always be human with you.

That when things are going well, I’ll laugh with you.

When things are going not so great, I’ll cry with you.

When you feel alone, I’ll hold you.

When you need space, I’ll grant you as much as you need.

When you need support, I’ll be there to cheer you on every step of the way.

When we experience the dizzy heights of life, I’ll celebrate it with you

And when we struggle through the valleys, I’ll hold your hand no matter what.

I promise you, most beautiful of woman, to make you part of every part of my being.

My strengths and my weaknesses.

My fears and my hopes.

My joys and my hurts.

My tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

Ultimately the only thing I can promise you is a lifetime’s journey together with you.

I promise that I will undertake this journey with you with honesty, authenticity, integrity, compassion, and love.

 

In the original Afrikaans

Aan Maretha: ‘n Troubelofte

Ek wens ek kon die volgende belowe, voorspoed, welvaart, en gesondheid. Dit is my egter nie beskore nie. Dit wat ek jou kan belowe is meer broos, meer weerloos, meer mensig.

 

Ek belowe jou Meisiemens, dat ek saam met  jou altyd mens sal wees.

Dat wanneer dit goed gaan, ek saam met jou sal lag.

Wanneer dit sleg gaan, ek saam met jou sal huil.

Wanneer jy alleen voel, ek jou sal vashou.

Wanneer jy ruimte nodig het, ek dit jou sal gun.

Wanneer jy ondersteuning nodig het, ek jou elke oomblik sal aanspoor.

Wanneer ons hoogtes beleef, ek dit saam met jou sal vier.

En wanneer ons valleie deur worstel, ek heeltyd jou hand sal vashou.

 

Ek belowe jou, mooiste mens, om jou deel te maak van elke deel van my wese;

My sterkpunte en my swakpunte,

My vrese en my hoop,

My vreugdes en my seerkry,

Van my trane en my lag.

 

Uiteindelik is al wat ek kan belowe ‘n leeftyd se reis saam met jou.

Ek belowe dat ek die reis met eerlikheid, opregtheid,  integriteit, deernis en liefde saam met jou sal reis.

Geskryf deur Fourie Rossouw

 Jy moet regtig lief he.
Delete jou junkmail folder gereeld.
Opgradeer jou anit-virus program.
Hou jou besig met goeie goed.
Nooi jou buurman oor vir ‘n braai.
As jy die sypaadjie voor jou huis se gras sny, sny jou buurvrou s’n ook.
Moenie opgee nie. Byt vas. Doen wat God van jou vra.
Wees opgewonde oor al die nuwe moontlikhede.
As dinge rof gaan, staan sterk.
Praat gereeld met God.
Help waar jy kan.
Deel uit wat jy het.
As iemand iets lelik aan jou doen, moet dan nie dink jy het ‘n rede om te skinder te nie.
Sommige mense is hartseer, ander is gelukkig. Leef altyd met deernis en empatie.
Moenie so windgat wees nie.
Luister vir ‘n slag.
Moenie jou swembadwater in jou buurman se groente tuin laat afloop nie.
As jou buurman ‘n poepol is, moenie jy dan ook een wees nie.
As dit vir jou moontlik is, probeer om van almal te hou.
Laat God worry oor hulle wat jou te na kom. Laat jou woede staan.
Maak vrede. Vergewe.
Wees ‘n geniunely nice teenoor hulle wat nie van jou hou nie. Niks is meer irriterend as dit nie!
Moenie dat die donker jou baas word nie.

Wees die donker se baas deur in die lig te lewe.