GIFTS AND THE JOURNEY AHEAD
I haven’t written here in a while—primarily because most of my thoughts are questions and I feel like I have little of substance to say. Nevertheless, I wanted to take a moment share two writings that have been helpful for me personally as I’ve navigated through similar spaces of unkowning and times of questioning.
These folks have said what I want to say better than I could say it, so I’ll just let them do the saying.
by Denise Levertov
Just when you seem to yourself
nothing but a flimsy web
of questions, you are given
the questions of others to hold
in the emptiness of your hands,
songbird eggs that can still hatch
if you keep them warm,
butterflies opening and closing themselves
in your cupped palms, trusting you not to injure
their scintillant fur, their dust.
You are given the questions of others
as if they were answers
to all you ask. Yes, perhaps
this gift is your answer.
Henri Nouwen On Entering the New Country
From “Inner Voice of Love”
“You have an idea of what the new country looks like. Still, you are very much at home, although not truly at peace, in the old country. You know the ways of the old country, its joys and pains, its happy and sad moments. You have spent most of your days there. Even though you know that you have not found there what your heart most desires, you remain quite attached to it. It has become part of your very bones.
Now you have come to realize that you must leave it and enter the new country, where your Beloved dwells. You know that what helped and guided you in the old country no longer works, but what else do you have to go by? You are being asked to trust that you will find what you need in the new country. That requires death of what has become so precious to you: influence, success, yes, even affection and praise.
Trust is so hard, since you have nothing to fall back on . Still, trust is what is essential. The new country is where you are called to go, and the only way to go there is naked and vulnerable.
It seems that you keep crossing and recrossing the border. For a while, you experience a real joy in the new country. But then you feel afraid and start longing again for all you left behind, so you go back to the old country. To your dismay, you discover that the old country has lost its charm. Risk a few more steps into the new country, trusting that each time you enter it, you will feel more comfortable and be able to stay longer.”
What do you think? Do these passages connect with you? How so? I welcome your thoughts below—or send me a note!