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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Inheritance

Vieraskieliset / In-english
20.6.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

7.6. 09:48

Text: Han­na-Ma­ria Jur­mu

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

In Oc­to­ber 2021, Päi­vä­mies pub­lis­hed an edi­to­ri­al tit­led There is al­wa­ys hope that lo­ved ones who have left will re­turn in­to God’s king­dom. The edi­to­ri­al desc­ri­bed the dist­res­sing pa­ren­tal ex­pe­rien­ce of ha­ving a child give up their faith. The re­a­ders were re­min­ded that the grace of re­pen­tan­ce is comp­le­te­ly a work of God. The ar­tic­le went on to say that no-one le­a­ves God’s king­dom be­cau­se of ina­de­qu­a­te pa­rents or friends or re­mains in it due to good upb­rin­ging.

The edi­to­ri­al conc­lu­ded with the com­for­ting mes­sa­ge that many who have re­mai­ned out­si­de God’s king­dom for de­ca­des have re­cei­ved the grace of re­pen­tan­ce. It en­ded with these words: ”The pa­rents or fa­mi­ly mem­bers may not live to wit­ness the day when their lo­ved one has the grace to re­turn. But be­lie­vers have the hope for reu­ni­on one day in he­a­ven’s home.”

I re­mem­ber that, when re­a­ding these fi­nal words, I brief­ly ho­ped that I would be al­lo­wed to le­a­ve this world. I was af­raid of the dist­res­sing pos­si­bi­li­ty that I might lose my child who had gi­ven up faith. But that no­ti­on pas­sed as quick­ly as it had come. It is good to live and hope that good God would still grant a time of grace.

The De­cem­ber 1964 is­sue of Ko­ti­lie­si ma­ga­zi­ne inc­lu­ded a be­au­ti­ful ar­tic­le tit­led The things for which I am most gra­te­ful to my pa­rents. The he­ad­no­te of the ar­tic­le poin­ted out that high stan­dard of li­ving has be­co­me a ma­gic word and the sole pur­po­se of life. ”We think that mere ma­te­ri­al we­alth is enough to cre­a­te the sour­ce of strength that home me­ans in the most pro­found sen­se of the word,” the text said. The wri­ter of the ar­tic­le had wan­ted to exp­lo­re the or­der of life va­lu­es by pre­sen­ting to five pub­lic­ly known pe­op­le the qu­es­ti­on: “For what thing I am most gra­te­ful to my pa­rents?”

One of the res­pon­dents was Ma­jor Ge­ne­ral Kaar­lo O. Lei­no­nen, who ser­ved as an ad­ju­tant of Ur­ho Kek­ko­nen, Pre­si­dent of the Re­pub­lic, and, at the end of his ca­reer, as Chief of De­fen­se for Fin­land. He was born in Loue vil­la­ge in Ter­vo­la. I was deep­ly imp­res­sed by the in­ter­view of Com­man­der Lei­no­nen, and I would the­re­fo­re like to sum­ma­ri­ze its con­tent here.

He star­ted by desc­ri­bing his home, which was a ty­pi­cal farm in sout­hern Lap­land. There were more than ten dai­ry cows and about twen­ty hec­ta­res of arab­le land. The fa­mi­ly had eight child­ren. Far­ming was hard work, and the farm was so big that the fat­her could not go to log­ging camps for ext­ra in­co­me. Three of the child­ren were sent to se­con­da­ry school in Kemi. Lei­no­nen said that this was most­ly due to his ener­ge­tic and en­ligh­te­ned mot­her. “It was no small thing to send three child­ren to live in town for the school se­mes­ters du­ring the ye­ars of se­ri­ous food shor­ta­ge.”

Lei­no­nen said that, as an adult, he had a strong de­si­re to vi­sit his home area while his pa­rents were still ali­ve. He felt he al­wa­ys re­tur­ned from there with re­ne­wed strength. The me­mo­ry of his pa­rents, es­pe­ci­al­ly his mot­her, still see­med to tie him to his home vil­la­ge. He was close to his mot­her. ”I re­cei­ved my most va­lu­ab­le inst­ruc­ti­ons for life from my home – and my mot­her cre­a­ted the at­mosp­he­re of our home”, Lei­no­nen said.

Kaar­lo O. Lei­no­nen re­mem­be­red his mot­her as a good and ho­nest per­son who was op­ti­mis­tic even at ti­mes of hards­hip. He said, ”I am hap­py and gra­te­ful I had pa­rents like my mot­her and my good, ta­ci­turn fat­her to show me the way. They were Les­ta­di­an be­lie­vers. Their li­ving Chris­ti­a­ni­ty was ref­lec­ted in their speech and their ac­ti­ons, their whole life from mor­ning till eve­ning. That was how I le­arnt the dif­fe­ren­ce bet­ween right and wrong, good and evil. I al­so saw that my mot­her and fat­her tre­a­ted all their neigh­bors in the same way. I le­arnt at an ear­ly age that the im­por­tant thing is not ex­ter­nal sta­tus but the per­son him- or her­self.”

I will still quo­te Lei­no­nen’s be­au­ti­ful text: ”My pa­rents left me a va­lu­ab­le spi­ri­tu­al he­ri­ta­ge: a cer­tain kind of se­ri­ous­ness that I can­not and do not want to cast off. Alt­hough I have not re­mai­ned on their road of faith, I know where that road is. They gave me such abun­dant in­ner re­sour­ces for life that I of­ten doubt my abi­li­ty as an edu­ca­ted per­son to le­a­ve a si­mi­lar in­he­ri­tan­ce to my child­ren.”

The in­ter­view en­ded with this per­so­nal me­mo­ry: ”When I came home to see my mot­her for the last time, I had a pre­mo­ni­ti­on that I would not see her ali­ve any more. That fee­ling per­sis­ted through our dis­cus­si­on. Yet, there have been ti­mes af­ter­wards when I have deep­ly reg­ret­ted that ma­y­be I did not tell her cle­ar­ly enough eve­ryt­hing that I was gra­te­ful to her for. But then I am sure she knew her son so well that she un­ders­tood even wit­hout words. Mot­hers are like that.”

It was not up to that mot­her’s good­ness or we­ak­nes­ses to keep or not keep her son on the path of faith. We can gu­ess what she said to her son at their last mee­ting. We can gu­ess what her pra­yer was when the son left his pa­rents and went back south. And when she clo­sed her ey­es to this world, she had the hope for reu­ni­on – the hope that her dear child would re­cei­ve the grace of re­pen­tan­ce and they would meet again one day in he­a­ven’s home.

That is my pra­yer too.


Minä luotan sinun armoosi, saan iloita sinun avustasi. Ps. 13:6

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