Today is the birthday of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, born in Breslau, Prussia in 1906.
I recently discovered the following passage from Bonhoeffer, which gets to the heart of Slow Church. Incidentally, this passage can be found in the book Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Christmas Sermons, which happens to be on sale right now for Kindle! ($3.79)
Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them. Whoever does not know the austere blessedness of waiting — that is, of hopefully doing without — will never experience the full blessing of fulfillment.
Those who do not know how it feels to struggle anxiously with the deepest question of life, of their life and patiently look forward with anticipation until the truth is revealed, cannot even dream of the spendor of the moment in which clarity is illuminated for them. And for those who do not want to win the friendship and love of another person — who do not expectantly open up their soul to the soul of the other person, until friendship and love come, until they make their entrance — for such people the deepest blessing of the one like of two intertwined souls will remain forever hidden.
For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait. It happens not here in a storm, but according to the divine laws of sprouting, growing and becoming. (emphasis added)