Friday, July 30, 2010

I think I may love Henri Nouwen

Just a few quotes....

"I realized that healing begins with our taking our pain out of its diabolic isolation and seeing that whatever we suffere, we suffer it in communion with all of humanity and yes, all of creation...

...the way through suffereing is not to deny it, but to live fully in the midst of it.

Our efforts to disconnect ourselves from our own suffering end up disconnecting our suffering from God's suffering for us.

Facing our losses also means avoiding a temptation to see life as an exercise in having needs me. We are needy people, of course. We want attention, affection, influence, power. And our needs seem never to be satisfied. Even altruistic actions can get tangled with these needs. Then, wehn people or circumstances do not fulfill all of our needs, we withdraw or lash out. We nurse our wounded spirits. And we become even needier. We crave easy assurances, ignoring anything that would suggest another way.

I am less likely to deny my suffering when I learn how God uses it to mold me and draw me closer to Him. I will be less likely to see my pains as interruptions to my plans and more able to see them as the means for God to make me ready to receive Him. I let Christ live near my hurts and distractions.

Our choice than often revolves around not what has happened or will happen to us, but how we will relate to life's turns and circumstances...will I relate to my life resentfully or gratefully?

For in our suffering, not apart from it, Jesus enters our sadness, takes us by the hand, pulls us gently up to stand and invites us to dance.

It is here (prayer) that we find courage to face our human boundaries and hurts, whether our physical appearance, our being excluded by others, our memories of hurt or abuse, our oppression at the hands of another. As we find freedom to cry out in anguish or protest someone's suffering, we discover ourselves slowly led into a new place. We become conditioned to wait for what we in our own strength cannot create or orchestrate. We realize that joy is not a matter of balloons and parties...It has to do with a deep experience - an experience of Christ. In the quiet listening of prayer, we learn to make out the voice that says, "I love you..."

The gospel calls us continually to make Christ the source, the center, and the purpose of our lives. In Him, we find our home. In the safety of that place, our sadnesses can point us to God, even drive us into God's loving embrace. Here mourning our losses ultimately lets us claim our belovedness. Mourning opens us to a future we could not imagine on our own - one that includes a dance..."

Ok, wow. He's smart, huh? And deep. This is just a FEW of the underlined passages and I'm only on page 38! More to come...


Kati said...

oh, Nouwen!! I love him. I had to read a lot of Nouwen for my master's program. I actually had a whole class on him (his work, that is)...and part of the class was a video about his life. At the end of the video (though I of course knew before I started watching it that he was no longer alive), they talked about his death and I just sobbed and "Oh, Henry...I will miss you. I mean, I DO miss you, I mean I should have had a chance to be your friend!" It was so strange and beautiful. He really is smart. And deep. And emotional. And precious. I really do love him. Thanks for the reminder. :)

Kati said...

*Henri (how could I misspell my FRIEND'S name!?!?

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Mike Thomas

One Crazy Mom said...

missing your blog!