Henri Nouwen said,
"We have to trust that our stories deserve to be told. We may discover that the better we tell our stories the better we will want to live them."
There is a little book of Henri's that I read each year. In The Name Of Jesus.
When I want need to be reminded why, who and what I am... I open this book, the words leaping across my heart, clinging like a vine, digging it's roots deep into my soul, where I find new breath... reminding me to live a better story.
Henri reminds me,
"It is Jesus who heals, not I; Jesus who speaks words of Truth, not I; Jesus who is Lord, not I."
"Jesus has a different vision of maturity. It is the ability and willingness to be led where you would rather not go."
Henri strips away pride, replacing it with vulnerability precious to my faith, important if I am to be available for the Kingdom... brushing shoulders with another soul, offering a word, a moment, to love another human being. What could I offer you today more important than Love?
Henri hungered after the things of God, never buying into the ways of man.
A Dutch Catholic priest who came to the U.S., taught at Notre Dame, Harvard, Yale. He lived among Trappist Monks, the poor of Peru, yet what he did next... he traveled to Trosly, France and ministered at L'Arche, a small community of adults with developmental disabilities. Later to Canada, serving a similar community.
Twenty years an academic, to a small community...
"Harvard to L'Arche, from the best and brightest, wanting to rule the world, to men and women who had few or no words and were considered at best, marginal to the needs of our society. It was a hard and painful move..."
He goes on
"The first thing that struck me when I came to live in a house with mentally handicapped people was their liking or disliking of me had absolutely nothing to do with any of the many useful things I had done until then. Since no one could read my books, the books could not impress anyone...
In his new role Henri says...
"I was suddenly faced with my naked self, open for affirmations and rejections, hugs and punches, smiles and tears, all dependent simply on how I was perceived at the moment."
Henri calls this the most important experience of his life. People, without pretense forced Henri to discover his true self.
He saw the value of these precious souls who would throw no accolades or roses at his feet, who showed him true love in Christ. Simple, unadorned, pure. Henri's life reminds me of all that I desire to accomplish.
"The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus?"
This is All I am here to do.
To be in love with Christ and share the Love that He Is and Does.
This will be enough.
It has to be.