"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Lovely in Eyes Not His

Friday, August 05, 2005

Lovely in Eyes Not His

We're off camping, so I won't be reading or posting for a while. Please feel free to start a conversation without me and don't worry about keeping on topic. There are very few rules in blogland.

Here's a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins you might enjoy.

As Kingfishers Catch Fire

As kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies draw flame;
     As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
     Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell's
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same:
     Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
     Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying What I do is me: for that I came.

I say more: the just man justices;
  Keeps grace: that keeps all his goings graces;
Acts in God's eye what in God's eye he is—
  Christ. For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
  To the Father through the features of men's faces.


  1. I'm a relative newcomer to these OALC sites, and so last week I went into the archives to read old postings. The first comment posted last August was from someone who said she(?) was 55. That is around my age. I would love to correspond with someone who lived through the 50s and 60s and into the 70s with OALC. Anonymous, would you be interested in doing that?

  2. Hey sisu
    I do not know if the comment you read is mine or not, but I am an exoalc'er and I just turned 56. If you would like to email me do so at bevnmark@rangeweb.net ok?

  3. sisu,

    I am the person who just wrote the above post. I just looked back in the archives and it was me that made the first August comment on hair that you mentioned above.

  4. Hi all, I would like to share with you a description of Laestadius from the Saami Spirit Calendar 1999 (tomten publications, Bloomington MN). This is from a Saami cultural organization, not a Laestadian group. I will quote it completely, as it is not very long (the caps are mine):
    "By the 1600s missions were established throughout northern Scandinavia and the Saamis were heavily pressed to abandon their ancient customs and convert to Christianity. Young Saami men were educated by the state to become priests, and one of these was Lars Levi Laestadius (1800-1861), a man many credit with saving Saami culture. A powerful orator who wrote and preached in the Saami language, Laestadius founded a christian revival movement in the 1830s which spread quickly throughout Sammi. He attracted a large following by preaching a message more in tune with Saami temperament and tradition. Scorning modernity - especially the use of alcohol - and the authority of church and state, his followers held fast to social traditions and language at a time when the Saamis were being strongly pressured to assimilate into modern Swedish or Norwegian society. LAESTADIAN REVIVALS WERE FIERY AND CHARISMATIC, AND PARISHIONERS OFTEN FELL INTO WILD STATES OF ECSTASY AND SPOKE IN TONGUES. Laestadian churches were established in the United States by immigrants from the Scandinavian countries, where they become known as the Apostolic Lutheran Church."
    I thought this was pretty wild. Can you imagine "states of ecstasy and speaking in tongues" now? When I originally read this, I had the suspicion that Laestadianism was initially quite lively but that element got squelched when the Finns got hold of it and turned it into a morose, self-flagellating enterprise. Incidentally, my sister says that Laestadius was an alcoholic, and that's why he has the passion of the reformed. I'm not sure where she got that info.