I find myself drawn to the writings of Henri Nouwen these days. His Clowning in Rome is one of my favorite books – I can read it over and over and still find something new. Sometimes I pick one up when I find I’ve run out of words to say what I’m feeling – or when I need something to speak to me and I’m not even sure what I want it to say.
What both draws me and scares me is how absolutely open he was with his life – from the most basic spiritual questions to his most personal of struggles. It was in his teachings and in the way he lived his life, and in his writings which will be around for generations to read. When he struggled, he did it openly, not trying to hide it and pull himself together. He didn’t have all the answers. What he had was an unshakable faith in God, and the ability to share his life in a way that anyone could understand and say “yes! me too!”

I have to admit though, as much as it moves me and as much as I take encouragement from it – I don’t know if I want to live the same way. When it’s right in front of me – that choice to struggle in the open, or to retreat and try and patch the cracks. The temptation to the latter often wins – not successfully I will say – but I still try. Perhaps if I can remember what  Mr Nouwen says: “It is my growing conviction that my life belongs to others just as much as it belongs to myself and that what is experienced as most unique often proves to be most solidly embedded in the common condition of being human.” 

This entry was posted in Convictions, Faith, God, God's Call, Learning, Men of God, Reflections, Teaching by Renaissance Girl. Bookmark the permalink.

About Renaissance Girl

I moved to the Community with my family in 1988 when I was 10 - which gives away my current age! I am now a solemnly professed member - I work at Paraclete Press, the publishing arm of the Community and I love my job! I also sing in the choir Gloriæ Dei Cantores, and am a member of Elements Theatre Company and Spirit of America Band. As a Docent for the Church of the Transfiguration, I get to discover new things about the church every time I share it with someone else. When I'm not doing one of those activities, I love to spend time with my dog or my "extended family". There's a lot of variety in my life which keeps me energized - and I'm learning how to be more in the moment so whether I'm at a rehearsal, or making dinner in the kitchen with 5 girls, they all get 100% of me!

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