EXPLORATION OF SPIRIT/GOD
Saturday, May 23, 2020, 3:30 p.m. & Tuesday, May 26, 2020, 11:30 a.m. (via Zoom).
We will read a set of excerpts from Etty: The Letters and Diaries of Etty Hillesum, 1941-1943 on “Helping God” (edited by Klaas A. D. Smelik, translated by Arnold J. Pomerans, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2002) that is available on Wikiquote https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Etty_Hillesum.
[26 August 1941, p. 91]
“There is a really deep well inside me. And in it dwells God. Sometimes I am there, too. But more often stones and grit block the well, and God is buried beneath. Then He must be dug out again.”
[11 July 1942, p. 484-485]
“And if God does not help me to go on, then I shall have to help God. — The surface of the earth is gradually turning into one great prison camp, and soon there will be nobody left outside. … I don’t fool myself about the real state of affairs, and I’ve even dropped the pretense that I’m out to help others. I shall merely try to help God as best I can, and if I succeed in doing that, then I shall be of use to others as well. But I mustn’t have heroic illusions about that either.”
[12 July 1942, p. 488-89]
“Dear God, these are anxious times. Tonight for the first time I lay in the dark with burning eyes as scene after scene of human suffering passed before me. I shall promise You one thing, God, just one very small thing: I shall never burden my today with cares about my tomorrow, although that takes some practice. Each day is sufficient unto itself. I shall try to help You, God, to stop my strength ebbing away, though I cannot vouch for it in advance. But one thing is becoming increasingly clear to me: that You cannot help us, that we must help You to help ourselves. And that is all we can manage these days and also all that really matters: that we safeguard that little piece of You, God, in ourselves. And perhaps in others as well. Alas, there doesn’t seem to be much You Yourself can do about our circumstances, about our lives. Neither do I hold You responsible. You cannot help us, but we must help You and defend Your dwelling place inside us to the last..”
Zoom connection information for this event is as follows: Zoom Link: https://zoom.us/j/92398341668 (Meeting ID: 994 4553 2926).
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