I have been reading this book by Henri Nouwen more as devotional reading than as a book to be read for head knowledge. So I have been going through it slowly. There is much to be digested as one goes along. Nouwen is always someone I have thought of as so intelligent, so spiritual and yet the things that he struggles with are not so different from what I struggle with; discouragement and depression, anger and even difficulty in connecting with God. This is probably the most encouraging thing about this book – his honesty and openness that show me more about how God relates to us as humans, his beloved children.
Here is something Nouwen said about Merton that I read just the other day. It struck me as being an important comment on what it means to be a “minister”. He says about Merton, “…his death has made him an even stronger catalyst that he was during his life. He indeed made his own life available to others to help them find their own – and not his – way. In this sense, he was and still is a true minister, creating the free space where others can enter and discover God’s voice in their lives.”
I like that phrase “creating the free space where others can enter and discover God’s voice in their lives.” It emphasises the fact that it is God who we need to hear, not the one that ministers even though I believe God often uses people to speak his words to us.
So in this sense Nouwen is also a minister to me. He helps me to see that I am a beloved child of God. Reading about his struggles, which seem so familiar, opens me to the acceptance of myself as a child of the father, creating this free space where I can hear God calling me to live and listen for his voice.
Other people also play the role of “minister” in my life and I thank God that he has put them there. Most of these people do not bear the formal title of Minister, most are friends. My spouse plays that role often and I am thankful for the free space he gives me to follow God in the ways that are most significant for me.
Maybe the most important question that arises for me from this statement is “Can I do this for others?” I am hoping so but the only way to see this is from a long way down the path looking back, I think. So I pray I may be sensitive both to God and to others creating this kind of a place where people discover God more deeply for themselves.
Today is the first time I have been able to make a blog entry from my laptop at the office. Last night our tech support guy came by the office(finally) and hooked up and encrypted our wireless system.(We have to protect our patient info as best we can) So now i can be online without bothering the rest of the office staff. Since I pay them to be on the computers, I had better not interfere too much with their work, I guess.
This morning when I got to work, I learned that my partner’s mother had been in a terible accident yesterday in Winnepeg. She is in serious condition so he will go to be there as soon as he can get away today. We are trying to shuffle the days patients but he is in the OR this morning. I hope things go well, whatever that means for them. They have had their share of difficulties this year already.
This morning Leo and I sat with other parents in the St Mary Gym during the Awards Assembly, waiting proudly for our daughter, Sara, to be called up to the stage to receive an award. A few days ago we received a letter from the school saying that she would be receiving a “special” award. We suspected it might be a French award since she had applied for some thing a while back. Instead she was called up to receive the Grade 11 General Proficiency award. Overall outstanding academic achievement, excellence in sports and a life that demonstrated devotion to God. Those were the qualifications. We know she is a pretty special kid and are very proud of her.
Want to know the really funny part? She shared the award with another student – a guy, Jory Longworth. He just happens to be her boyfriend. I guess one could say they are well matched!
Sara also had been asked to read the scripture in French for today’s ceremony, a job she also did well.
Tonight I went to a parent’s meeting concerning the PA youth Travel Club. Sara has decided she wants to join this group for the trip to Thailand coming up in the Easter break. She joined late so tonight was the first meeting we attended together.
Wow, does she have some fundraising to do, but what an opportunity! She seems to be our world traveller.
Last night I spent a little time up at the Relay For Life location. I wanted to be there for the luminary lighting and also I wanted to say hello to some friends of mine that were participating. The luminary ceremony started before I found my friends so I sat down on the hill surrounding the track and watched, and listened too. The Pipe and drum band played while the HOPE luminaries were being lit
and then continued playing around the inside of the field where all the teams were encamped. I went down to the track to walk around to where I would find one of my friends and found one of the others right there on the track beside me.
It was an awesome experience for me. I sat on the hill and thought about all the people near to me that have suffered from cancer. Sometimes it is a hard fight that is continued right to the end. Sometimes the fight is worth it and healing happens and a full and restored life is lived. I guess that is what we hope for all our friends when we hear about their struggles with any disease but there is something about cancer that sets it apart in everyone’s minds.
I was just browsing some sites I visit occasionally and came across this story. You have no idea how encouraging this story is to me.
It seems incredible that it is June already. However today’s weather is definitely summerish and I like that. In fact I am feeling well enough and it is such a beautiful evening that I should get out on my bike this evening. And I had better. I need the exercise!
Also, I am over whatever it was that I had. Now the kids have it. Sara was home today. I may have to go and stock up on the Gravol. We are down to the last two.
It seems as if Sara is also feeling much better after sleeping most of the day. She is off to soccer practice. She says she may not play much but they have the first season games this weekend and she should be at the practice.