Thursday, July 1, 2010

Words from a Prison Cell

From a Nazi-run prison in Berlin, Deitrich Bonhoeffer wrote these words to his niece, Renate, on the occasion of her wedding: “Most people have forgotten nowadays what a home can mean though some of us have come to realize it as never before. It is a kingdom of its own in the midst of the world, a stronghold amid life's storms and stresses, a refuge, even a sanctuary. It is not founded on the shifting sands of outward or public life, but it has its peace in God, for it is God who gives it its special meaning and value, its own nature and privilege, its own destiny and dignity. It is an ordinance of God in the world, the place in which - whatever may happen in the world - peace, quietness, joy, love, purity, discipline, respect, obedience, tradition, and with it all, happiness may dwell. It is the wife's calling, and her happiness, to build up for her husband this world within the world and to do her life's work there.""

"...a place in which - whatever may happen in the world - peace, quietness, joy, love...may dwell."
What a glorious vision, an inspiration and an elevation to 'home-makers' everywhere; and yet how old-fashioned, even "degrading," it sounds to post-modern ears. Haven't we "progressed" beyond such provincialism? Haven't the feminists succeeded in liberating generations of young women to dispense their talents in a far more meaningful way upon a wide and waiting world?

I think Lily Allen's song, "The Fear," provides an incisive, if comically depressing, answer to this question... Give it a listen, if you dare, but wait until the children are asleep.

1 comment:

our family said...

Have thought of this post a few times since you published it. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration you provide. LOVE YOU!