After finishing the monumental biography on Dietrich Bonhoeffer by Eric Mataxas today, at year’s end and subsequently the beginning of another, I thought the following words from the German martyr to be ostensibly apposite:
Powers of Good
With every power for good to stay and guide me,
comforted and inspired beyond all fear,
I’ll live these days with You in thought beside me,
and pass with You, into the coming year.
The old year still torments our hearts, unhastening,
the long days if our sorrow still endure,
Father, grant to the souls thou hast been chastening
that thou has promised, the healing and the cure.
Should it be to ours to drain the cup of grieving
even to the dregs of pain, at Thy command,
we will not falter, thankfully receiving
all that is given by Thy loving hand.
But should it be Thy will once more to release us
to life’s enjoyment and it’s good sunshine,
that which we’ve learned from sorrow shall increase us,
and our life be dedicate as Thine.
Today, let candles shed their radiant greeting;
lo, on our darkness are they not light
leading us, haply, to our longed for meeting?
Thou canst illumine even our darkest night.
When now the silence deepens for our hearkening,
grant we may hear the children’s voices raise
from all the unseen world around us darkening
their universal paean, in Thy praise.
While all the powers of good aid and attend us,
boldly we’ll face the future, come what may,
At even and at morn God will befriend us,
and oh, most surely on each newborn day!
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer
From his last known letter to family. December 14, 1944