Friday, December 28, 2012

pondering open hands with Henri Nouwen

Met with a friend over coffee.  Just as so many times before, I found myself recommending this book.

Not as another book (how cliche and lame to offer a hurting person a book?), but as a paradigm shift. As an invitation to a completely new path.

Open hands - for the new year, for the next moment ... for life.

A sample:

To pray means to open your hands before God. It means slowly relaxing the tension which squeezes your hands together and accepting your existence with an increasing readiness, not as a possession to defend, but as a gift to receive. Above all, prayer is a way of life which allows you to find a stillness in the midst of the world where you open your hands to god's promises and find hope for yourself, your neighbor, and your world...
Praying is not simply some necessary compartment in the daily schedule or a source of support in a time of need. Prayer is living. It is eating and drinking, action and rest, teaching and learning, playing and working. Praying pervades every aspect of our lives. It is the unceasing recognition that God is wherever we are, always inviting us to come closer and to celebrate the divine gift of being alive.
In the end, a life of prayer is a life with open hands - a life where we are not ashamed of our weaknesses but realize that it is more perfect for us to be led by the Other than to try to hold everything in our clenched fists.

1 comment:

Meredith said...

oh you know i adore this!!!