The last time I was in Helsinki, it was mid/late October. I thought I was living in the reality of a black and white World War II movie! The town was all shades of gray except when I looked through the windows of the apartments in otherwise bland, nondescript, blocks of concrete. It those brief glimpses into the life of this community one caught bright swaths of color, incredible contrasts of textures, and a contrasting paradox that remains confusing. Coming back to a town that seems to change little with time, I find myself in an exploding sense of colors, warmth, and beauty.
The singular difference is the season. One visit was during the birth of winter, the other the celebration of summer. What a change in context! My imagination was not big enough to see this coming. Boats, kids at play, and sunglasses mix in a celebration of community, music, and relationships. As I experience the joy of a Finnish summer, I find myself wondering what else exists just beyond the boundaries of my imagination. Are the walls I assume there real? Do the filters and limits need to exist? Am I looking while weather unseen, unfelt blinders?
The Spirit gently reminds you and me of a truth; “even if a giant grips the plunder and a tyrant holds my people prisoner, I'm the one who's on your side, defending your cause, rescuing your children.” (Isaiah 49.25) I am present in the midst of pain. I am here, even when it seems as if Hope is on holiday. I am working, even in the silence and doubt.
There is a context to your life and mine. We are part of a wonderful family with God as our mother and father. We have a companion with us always, I know the Presence as the Spirit. We are messengers of Hope. It may seem like we live in an eternal winter, yet we can bring light to darkness, hope to fear, and love to uncertainty. Everything is possible. The context we see does not have to remain.
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