Monday, April 14, 2008

Henri Nouwen

I mentioned Nouwen as one of my mentors this weekend at VCC. It's really not fair to call him a mentor since he had no choice in the matter. I never met him. Regardless, he's been a huge influence on me through his books.

This weekend I talked about Nouwen's idea that ideally we move from intimacy (with God) toward community with others. From community we can move toward ministry and acts of service. Many of us try to do this backwards and end up lonely and frustrated. If ministry is first, community becomes simply a method to accomplish a task. Intimacy with God is sacrificed in the name of service and we end up alone and isolated. There is a thin line between intimacy with God and isolation from God.

I found an article that Nouwen wrote in 1995 about these issues. If you'd like to read him yourself, just click here.


Sherry said...

Thanks for sharing that. It kind of rocked my little world just now.

Tabitha : ) said...

I so enjoyed the article. I have never heard of this man before and now I'm intrigued and must know more

When he was writing about compassion it reminded me of a message you did some time ago. You used a word that I can't recall at the moment but basically you were saying, "my spleen hurts". Referring to compassion we feel for others so much that it makes our spleens hurt.


Corene said...

Jo, my wife just found your blog and showed it to me. Your openness to God is encouraging. Nouwen is great. I wish more were reading him. Corene (Runner), my wife, graduated from CBC and I graduated from CBS in 1994. We currently work with a contemplative retreat center,, in Minnesota.
Peace to you,

Unknown said...

Nouwen is my favorite. I believe his His realness is so pleasing to the Lord. I pull his books and tapes out often.
A fellow Jesus lover, Barbee (from Dallas, recently transplanted to Chagrin Falls)

Joules Evans said...

Splogna (sp?) happens.