Monday, June 27, 2011

Thanks, Henri

I'd like to pause for a moment and thank Henri Nouwen for writing this book, The Way of the Heart, just for me. At least, it seems it was written just for me, since every line resonates with right where I am in this moment. Henri (I like to think we're on a first name basis, after all he did write this book for me...) has assembled the trifecta of spiritual existence by explaining solitude, silence, and prayer in ways I had never been able to grasp before.

"Solitude is the furnace of transformation. Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. Jesus himself entered into the furnace. There he was tempted with three compulsions of the world: to be relevant (turn stones into loaves), to be spectacular (throw yourself down) and to be powerful (I will give you all these kingdoms). There he affirmed God was the only source of his identity. (You must worship the Lord your God and serve him alone.) Solitude is the place of the great struggle and the great encounter- the struggle against the compulsions of the false self, and the encounter with the loving God who offers himself as the substance of the new self."

That's just one example of a paragraph that is rocking my world. I could spend days thinking about that one idea above, but this book is completely full of these kinds of truths about where we find meaning, how we connect with God, how this affects the way we live. I added the italics to the quote above because that last line is where I am living right now. I want to be totally fulfilled by God, to experience his presence in a way that leaves no room for trying to fill myself.

The Way of the Heart is a short book. It can probably be read in about an hour or two. But the concepts it presents are life changing. They can be chewed on for a lifetime. They speak to and nurture a desire to rest in God. I plan to read this little book over and over until it's falling apart.


Lindsay said...

Do you own this book? I would love to borrow it.

BECKY said...

I own it, but will be reading it almost continually for the next few months at least. The library might have it (ours does) or I would say go ahead and buy this one because you might want to mark it up with underlining and read it over and over.