While in God confiding, I cannot but rejoice



Dietrich Bonhoeffer, pastor, theologian, prophet, spy
I read the last page of Eric Metaxas’ Bonhoeffer last night. A slow reader who avoids horror stories, it took six months to brave the rise and ruins of Hitler’s holocaust. My bedtime reading often morphed into pitiful dreams about Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his mother, Paula.
Why did I submit my psyche and time to learn the Bonhoeffer family history, their deaths ordered by Der FΓΌhrer’s bloodlust?
Perhaps a subliminal desire to acknowledge a childhood fear embedded in post-WWII murmurs. Concentration camps. Smokestacks. Gas chambers.
In 1954, the words followed me from my safe haven in Kentucky’s McCoy Bottom to my sister’s elementary school in our new Detroit neighborhood. There, the grisly whispers possessed the smokestack towering above the brick building. My dear mother didn’t know I cried because Sisser and I were about to be burned up with all the children.
Such was and is the reach of Adolf Hitler’s hatred—his mutated swastika and National Socialism. The submission of the German church to the Nazi SS and Gestapo. The extermination of the Poles, Jews, handicapped, and their sympathizers.
Mind, I never heard a negative word against the German people during my childhood. Neither did I hear about men like Dietrich Bonhoeffer whose devotion to his country’s Christian community played a significant role in the German Resistance to the Third Reich.
On this side of the Atlantic, it seemed Hitler’s war to rule the world had never happened. I learned otherwise in sixth grade. 
Mr. Grieder, my teacher, gave a classmate detention for popping a stick of gum into her mouth seconds before the bell rang for dismissal. I reported the injustice to my mother.
“Mr. Grieder’s like Hitler,” I said.
Mom shot her dagger eye to mine. “Don’t ever say that again! Mr. Grieder is a good man and teacher.”
I wanted to believe my mother was right. I hope someday, in our Savior’s Glory, to kiss her for the rebuke. I hope to offer Mr. Grieder my apology and hand of fellowship. I hope to thank the Bonhoeffer family for their suffering and sacrifice—for Dietrich’s works Ethics and Cost of Discipleship.
Three months after the Nazis martyred Dietrich and his brother Klaus, Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer listened to the BBC broadcast of their sons’ memorial service from Holy Trinity Brompton Church in London.  
As I turned the concluding pages of three memorial sermons by men who loved the young theologian, pastor, and spy, I imagined Paula Bonhoeffer sitting beside her husband in their Berlin home. She had educated her children in the house of their nativity, planted them in her strong, Christian faith. How did she bear the loss of three of her four sons and one son-in-law to two world wars?  
The last speaker concluded with Dietrich’s words: “While in God confiding I cannot but rejoice.”
Dear Reader, Eric Mataxas wrote this final line: “When the service ended, Karl and Paula Bonhoeffer turned off the radio.”
Their son had spoken from his ashes.
I cannot but rejoice.