During December, I had the happy pleasure to read an Advent booklet gleaned from the writings of Henri Nouwen. Uplifted by his reflections, his soul-search expressions of longing for God have often echoed in my own heart. I really felt drawn to include this particular reflection today, and I send it out with the cherished hope it will encourage a heavy heart today.
"We don't like to dwell on our losses, but our whole lives are filled with losses, endless losses. And every time there are losses there are choices to be made. You choose to live your losses as passages to anger, blame, hatred, depression, and resentment, or you choose to let these losses be passages to something new, something wider, and deeper. The question is not how to avoid loss and make it not happen, but how to choose it as a passage, as an exodus to greater life and freedom.
"O God, may your redemptive love showered upon us in Jesus lead us to live holy and happy lives despite our losses."
(excerpt from Advent Meditations from the writings of Henri Nouwen: Living in Hope, 2007, by Creative Communications for the Parish, Fenton, MO)
Wishing you peace,
good thought, goes along with my thoughts on act or react.ReplyDelete
Oh yes! Beautiful. Every loss is truly a gain ... though often a hidden gain until the pain has passed.ReplyDelete
Lin -- I love it when things dovetail like that!ReplyDelete
Kathleen, Nice new pic! Thanks for passing by today!
I had to think about this for quite a while. My first instinct was that I'd lived an existance that had been sheltered from loss.ReplyDelete
It took a while for me to recognize many of the losses in my life. I lost my father, my mother, one of my "sister's" and best friends, I lost some of my dreams... specifically, that my children would marry and have children who would grow up together and be close as cousins and as friends. At some point, I suppose I lost some of my innocence.
But... I do know that I will see my parents and "sister" again. On occasion I feel their presence with me...it taught me patience and to listen in silence for their words of counsel and the good times we shared to bubble up from my memory.
I have not lost hope that my children will each find happiness...and it has taught me to trust in them and their strength of character in making good choices. It has taught me how to be a resurce for them in realizing THEIR dreams for their lives.
And with the loss of innocence came wisdom. And with wisdom came peace.
So... I find that loss has indeed visited me, and that I have indeed grown from each loss that I've experienced. I am in total agreement with Henri Nouwen.
This was a post that brought introspection. It was salve to my soul. Thank you.
Caryn, You mention that you needed to ponder these words of Henri Nouwen, and now like you, I've had to take some time to ponder your own response. Cannot reply adequately in this tiny space.ReplyDelete
Sometimes it surprises me how kindred some kindred spirits really are -- it's like catching a glimpse in the mirror that at first looks like ourselves, and then we realize it's the beautiful spirit of another. In this particular instance, you!
You mention that at first instinct you thought you'd lived an existance sheltered from loss. For many years I had also felt that my life had fallen in pleasant places. And it has. But in the mix, I too have experienced my own losses.... losses of loved ones, losses of cherished dreams and little wishes, losses of energy, lost opportunities....
But out of those losses, I have been learning to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus -- who said He was the author and finisher of my faith. And as I'm learning to keep my eyes on Him, He's been healing my heart and even giving back and restoring certain dreams that had been lost. And of course, sometimes people say of loved ones, I lost my father or mother, but I'm happy to know that my dad isn't 'lost'. I know where he is -- in that place where God is, and so I didn't really 'lose him'... in that, God has healed my heart and it doesn't hurt anymore.......
I noted also your comment about loss of some of our innocence. A theme I've been pondering lately too. In a world that has pain and cruelty sometimes people can lose the hope that, in the midst of it all, we can still experience some of heaven's beauty while we walk on this earth. We can be tempted to throw our hands in the air and mutter, why bother....
But that's the wonder of it, when we continue to meet person after person after person, who has not given up, but still reaches out to share hope and kindness, peace and comfort.
The more I blog, the more I find these incredible and amazing people, who radiate love and beauty all over the place!
This is an inspiring post...the meditation is a hard thing to do at the time of loss...to know there is a choice is very hopeful...and freeing...thx for sharing..ReplyDelete