Henri Nouwen is one of my favourite authors. his unique perspective on Christianity and more specifically christian leadership is thought provoking to say the least. in his book, In the Name of Jesus, Nouwen has taken on the task of discussing christian leadership for the new century. as the book was written in 1989, so he was writing with 2000 in mind, but that in no way out dates anything he has to say.
one passage in particular has been stuck in my mind for several days now. as i am away in france from tonight until next wednesday, i will leave you all with this thought. The context is Nouwen discussing the center where he works in which he lives in community with the physically and mentally handicapped. and he writes...
these broken, wounded and completely unpretentious people forced me to let go of my relevant self - the self that can do things, show things, build things - and forced me to reclaim that unadorned self in which i am completely vulnerable, open to receive and give love regardless of any accomplishments. I am telling you this because i am convinced the christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. that is the way Jesus came to reveal God's love. The great message that we have to carry, as ministers of God's word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.
its always a good reminder, at least to me, that god loves us not because of our job and how successful we are in it, or because we have a great education with lots of honours, or even because we are involved parents raising children in a godly manner. God loves us inspite of all of these things. god loves us just because we are. and that opens us up to stop trying so hard to be something that sounds good or looks successful and allows us to embrace who we really are inside; who He creates us to be.
so those are some thoughts, via henri nouwen, for the weekend. everyone enjoy themselves. i sure will as me and little ele live it up in eurodisney!!