Sunday, November 02, 2008

Finding our Place

The unobtrusive and unbreakable connection that is happening through out the earth is one of the heart, and the designer and choreographer is no less than God the Father. Scripture talks about, “A three fold cord is not easily broken.” I see that three fold cord being Father, Son and Holy Spirit, (faith, hope-love) intertwined with me and with so many others that I am slowly meeting this side of heaven, wow, talk about God having a very big house.

I was out this morning walking my dog Atticus (a Bearded Collie) communing with Father, basking in the unseasonable warmth for the 2nd of November, but also savouring the warm and deep affection of his heart for me. Aren’t you glad that He is the one that defines what it means and how it looks to have a spirit-soul and body connection with Him? The kicker is that each and every day it could look just a tad different if in fact a relating, connecting with Him in a way/s that you’ve not yet experienced.

As I continued with my walk it was still resonating within my heart something I read the other day while waiting for Margi to come back from her shopping.
I am slowly but surely becoming more and more a ruined and broken man as Father continues to invade my soul.
Here a few of the things that lovingly wrecked my day.

The following year, Dominique, a lean, muscular six-foot, two inches, always wearing a navy blue beret, learned at fifty-four that he was dying of inoperable cancer. With the community’s permission he moved to a poor neighbourhood in Paris and took a job as night watchman at a factory. Returning home every morning at 8:00 A.M. he would go directly to a little park were the marginal people, drifters, winos, “has-beens,” dirty old men who ogled the girls passing by.

Dominique never criticized, scolded, or reprimanded them. He laughed, told stories, shared his candy, accepted them just as they were. From living so long out of the inner sanctuary, he gave off a peace, a serene sense of self-possession and hospitality of heart that caused cynical young men and defeated old men to gravitate toward him like bacon toward eggs.
His simple witness lay in accepting others as they were without questions and allowing them to make themselves at home in his heart. Dominique was the most non-judgemental person I have ever known. He loved with the heart of Jesus Christ.
One day, when the ragtag group of rejects asked him to talk about himself, Dominique gave them a thumbnail description of his life. Then he told them with quiet conviction that God loved them tenderly and stubbornly, that Jesus had come for rejects and outcasts just like themselves. His witness was credible because the Word was enfleshed on his bones. Later one old-timer said, “The dirty jokes, vulgar language, and leering at girls just stopped.”

One morning Dominique failed to appear on his park bench. The men grew concerned. A few hours later, he was found dead on the floor of his cold-water flat. He died in the obscurity of a Parisian slum.
Dominique Voillaume never tried to impress anybody, never wondered if his life was useful or his witness meaningful. He never felt he had to do something great for God. He did keep a journal. It was found shortly after his death in a drawer of the nightstand by his bed. His last entry read: “All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If he wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is his concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that.”

In Dominique Voillaume I saw the reality of a life lived entirely for God and for others. After an all-night prayer vigil by his friends, he was buried in an unadorned pine box in the backyard of the Little Brother’s house in Saint-Remy. A simple wooden cross over his grave with the inscription “Dominique Voillaume, a witness to Jesus Christ” said it all. More than seven thousand people gathered from all over Europe to attend his funeral.

Any spirituality that does not lead from a self-centered to an other-centered mode of existence is bankrupt. For many of us the journey out of preoccupation with self begins with self-acceptance. In order to live for others I must be able to live with myself.
Years ago the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung asked:
What if I should discover that the least of the brothers Jesus, the one crying out most desperately for reconciliation , forgiveness, and acceptance, is myself? That I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness, that I myself am the enemy who must be loved, what then? Will I do for myself what I do for others?



Amy said...

I didn't know you had a dog! Wonderful! Atticus sounds like a sweetie. Wow...thanks for this story of Dominique Voillaume. My heart was deeply touched. It is my deepest prayer to live a life for God and others, as well.

Beautful post, Rich.

~Amy :)

Rich said...


Yes my precious pup (he will be 2 in February) is a continual blessing to me, I see so much of Father's heart to and for me reflected through his over powering affection for me.

The story I shared so drew my heart to Him and caused me to love the me that he says He loves so passionately!