I remember when my brother first introduced me to Frederick Buechner.
He shared this quote with me, and I was hooked. And thankful.
“The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
― Frederick Buechner, A Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC
Another version of the quote is, “Vocation is the place where your deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.”
Good stuff. And it gave me freedom to believe that I might possibly be on the right track in my life. That’s really good stuff.
Since then I’ve been paying more attention to Mr. Buechner and his thoughts.
“Many an atheist is a believer without knowing it just as many a believer is an atheist without knowing it. You can sincerely believe there is no God and live as though there is. You can sincerely believe there is a God and live as though there isn’t.”
-Frederick Buechner, originally published in Wishful Thinking and later in Beyond Words
That one calls for intentionality and focus in the choices we make every moment of every day. Hard to do, but we have to try for the Light to shine through the darkness and for Love to win.
Then today there was this.
“Beneath our clothes, our reputations, our pretensions, beneath our religion or lack of it, we are all vulnerable both to the storm without and the storm within.” –Frederick Buechner
This moved me to tears. We are all more alike than different. It’s true, isn’t it? We all face storms, and we need to give each other grace in that. Underneath it all, we are the same.
Tonight I am thankful for Mr. Buechner and his thought-provoking messages. When I am facing storms it seems like people–family, friends, sister friends, even people I happen to meet for a moment–just come out of the woodwork to help me through it. With laughter, with love, with presence. If I will let them. And that’s it. Some people aren’t lucky like that–to have people who care enough to walk alongside, holding an umbrella. And some people hold it all inside and don’t let others know about the storms. And so they face it alone.
And that’s what breaks my heart. For all of us. For the ones weathering the storms alone and for those of us who don’t know…..I guess Mr. Buechner really explained it best when he said, “Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.”
This morning my friend Baddest Mother Ever reminded me of the song we sang at our eighth grade graduation: “Let There Be Peace On Earth.”
Let there be peace on earth,
And let it begin with me.