today: dear henri nouwen, thank you.

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This time of year gets busy, busy, busy. Lots of our clients want photos of their kiddos done for the holidays. I still find myself amazed that I get to tell visual stories. For a living. Alongside of that, my job at church starts to get hectic as we prepare to supply a community of kids in Reynosa, Mexico with shoes for Christmas. The paperwork to organize alongside of a team to train alongside of a trip to take is busy. And I do find myself amazed that I get to help see a low-income community have tangible needs met as a means of loving them the way I think Jesus would. For a living. But I’d be lying if I didn’t say that things get a little crazy.

So life is good. But (ah, the but) I am tired. It’s mostly a good kind of tired, but I find the questions I shove in my pockets aren’t fitting right now, because I’ve packed them to overflowing. And then I want to stop and sit down and be with people I love. And I want that to be enough. I don’t want to have to figure things out, honestly. Heather, my friend who goes to Mexico with me, sent me this quote, posted below this photo…

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“More and more, the desire grows in me to simply walk around, greet people, enter into homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice the simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be a part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets.

“It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them but truly love them.”
-Henri Nouwen, pp 147-148, Gracias!

So yeah, the busy, busy, busy is what it is. The simplicity that I hunger for, though, is knowing people by name and eating with them…because we do life together. I think that’s the way to love God and love people. Jesus called it gospel. We call it life.

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2 responses to “today: dear henri nouwen, thank you.

  1. we all four truly love you

  2. There are times when you remind me so clearly of what it is to love God and people that I want to weep. In a good way.

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