Nouwen, Edison, and John the Baptist (JTB)

Henri J.M. Nouwen in this book, The Wounded Healer, offers insights on a life well spent even in light of brokenness. I took liberty to adapt some of his thoughts into this blog. I have to keep asking the larger faith community to image what we could do together as we not only bear one another's burdens but also the brokenness of our community.

But before I offer Nouwen's thoughts, let me also write about what Thomas Edison said. One of my favorite Edison quotes is,

"If we all did the things we are capable of doing we would literally astound ourselves."

As Christ followers, I wonder why we feel so incapable of addressing the brokenness around us? You see, in Christ, we are extremely capable and we should be astounded! I love how JTB introduced Jesus - "the one more powerful than I." Jesus is the one more powerful that I and yet Jesus, the Living Christ by his Spirit, is in me making me more powerful than I could ever imagine! But power for what purpose?

Now Nouwen. What if our life purpose was to recognize the brokenness and oppression of our time, in our own heart, and make that heart-felt recognition the starting point of our work and ministry? Realistically, our work will not be perceived as authentic unless it comes from a heart wounded by the brokenness and oppression about which we speak. Therefore, we will have to make our own wounds available as a source of healing. For one person needs another to live. Therefore the deeper we are willing to enter into the painful condition which we and others know, the more likely it is that we can be leaders, leading people out of the desert into the promised land.

Let us say to others, “I will not let you go. I am going to be here tomorrow waiting for you. I expect you not to disappoint me for we will travel together. We are not alone. We are not unloved.”

Thankfully, we are redeemed to be redemptive.