I think T.S. Eliot put it best in the last couple stanzas of his Four Quartets:
“What we call the beginning is often the end
And to make an end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from ...
... With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
Bonhoeffer knew his end was also his beginning. At the end of self — and man-made religion — is where we, too, find God risen, waiting for us.
Bruce Herman is the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in the art department at Gordon College in Wenham. He and his wife live in Gloucester. Herman’s current work on “The Four Quartets” is part of a touring collaboration in poetry, paint and music, and comes to Gordon College on April 13. Visit www.gordon.edu/qu4rtets for more information.