Sunday, February 24, 2008


Tonight, I could barely keep reading. My kids were still.

Every other Sunday, we have small group. Sometimes it is every third Sunday. This week, it was every week.

Our 5 kids (Zeke was removed to playpen), Marty, me, Larry and Alice.

We sing a few songs. Then, we read the story Larry and Alice love dearly. The story of a handicapped boy named Gunther in pre-Nazi Germany. A true story. He lived in a home for the handicapped near Bielefeld, Germany, founded by Pastor Bodelschwingh. It is simply called Bethel.
A sentence from their mission statement sums up the first reason I am unable to vote for any of the current democratic candidates: "Our vision is rooted in the Christian faith an d is based on respect for the inalienable worth of every individual being as one of God's creatures." Ah, one small part of Europe not ravaged by the French Enlightenment. But I digress.

Gunther was placed at Bethel after spending years in a bed, in a kitchen, in an apartment. At Bethel, he is touched, loved, talked with. He is learning to speak. He is learning sensations of taste, smell and the outdoors. As we listen each week, we get a glimpse into how his "poor brain" is awakened. This week, because Larry was sick, I read.

I rarely cry. I don't hold myself out as a non-crier, but crying is just not a part of my make up. Tonight, I could barely read.

Gunther was experiencing his first Advent season and Christmas.
"Thus Gunther had two very opposite feelings as he approached his first real Christmas. It was like discovering a new star in the sky. First a pinpoint of light, growing bigger day by day, until at last it was the biggest and brightest star in the heaven. But it was also like discovering a dark cloud low on the horizon, and the cloud, too, grew bigger and bigger each day. All the time Gunther's idea of Christmas was growing little by little, his [epileptic] friend Kurt was dying little by little."

Before Kurt died, he held the Christmas Eve candle as it was lit. A "mindquake" struck. The candle dropped. A pain-torn Gunther cried, "There's a crack in everything!" Several children explained in their particular handicapped way what is so great about Christmas. "Because," [Leni] shouted triumphantly, "Because everything has a crack!"

Pastor Fritz knelt beside Gunther's chair.
"It is true, Gunther, that there is a crack in everything. God sees the crack better than we do, and the crack is ever so much worse than we think it is. That is why God sent his Son from the heavenly home to our earthly home. Not to patch up the crack, but to make everything new. That is why Christmas is so great, Gunther."

Bright Valley of Love, Edna Hong, Augsburg Publishing House, Minneapolis, MN, 1976.


Anonymous said...

Why can't you vote for a Democrat? Because they would try to provide health care for children - while your rich, Republican friends would suggest everyone go out and work and earn their own way? You confuse me Button.

Unknown said...

Excellent question, anonymous. I'll bet you're also a great soccer player.
Not one of the current democratic presidential candidates is pro-life, i.e. they all support Roe v. Wade and have said they will work to uphold it.

They have all also said that they oppose the more recent Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the partial-birth abortion ban of 2003.

It is impossible to say that one respects the inalienable worth of every individual being and support abortion. It is even more difficult to hold both if one supports partial-birth abortion. The reality that this is an individual is unassailable. See

Anonymous said...

I'm supporting Democrats because I believe they will support the life that is CURRENTLY here on Earth by helping with social needs and services. I don't believe in voting on just one social issue, but of course I also am someone will be voting pro-choice.
And yes, I rock on the soccer field - just like you! I hope to see you next session.

Unknown said...

OK. A new blog

Jenna said...

"while your rich, Republican friends would suggest everyone go out and work and earn their own way"

Please. Most of my friends are Republicans and many of them are broke as a joke.

Jenna said...

including me.