Friday, October 07, 2005

Ouch from the Wounded Healer by Henri J.M. Nouwen

"The tragedy of Christian ministry is that many who are in great need, many who seek an attentive ear, a word of support, a forgiving embrace, a firm hand, a tender smile, or even a stuttering confession of inability to do more, often find their ministers distant men who do not want to burn their fingers. they are unable or unwilling to express their feelings of affection, anger, hostility, or sympathy. The paradox indeed is that those who want to be for 'everyone' find themselves often unable to be close to anyone. When everybody becomes my 'neighbor', it is worth wondering whether anybody can really become my 'proximus,' that is, the one who is most close to me

After so much stress on the necessity of a leader to prevent his own personal feelings and attitudes from interfering in a helping relationship it seems necessary to re-establish the basic principle that no one can help anyone without becoming involved, without entering with his whole person into the painful situation without taking the risk of becoming hurt, wounded or even destroyed in the process. The beginning and end of all Christian leadership is to give your life for others. Thinking about martyrdom can be an escape unless we realize that real martyrdom means a witness that starts with the willingness to cry with those who cry, laugh with those who laugh, and to make one's own painful and joyful experiences available as sources of clarification and understanding. " (pp. 71-72)


Anonymous said...

I find nouwen boring, not helpful. Maybe that's just me.

RevGoT said...

Let him who has ears to hear. My ears are open because I'm a screw up in relational ministry, contrary to my aspirations!

Brad said...

I enjoy your blog - a fellow wounded healer - much more wounded and less of a healer than I would like to admit.

thanks for your openness and authenticity - you are not alone.

Tyler said...

How are things? Found your blog. It's been awhile since your last post. I'm assuming that you probably don't check things quite often. Check out my blog "alias the confessor"

Anonymous said...

Hello from Montreal, Canada.
My name is Wren and I just happened upon your blog today.
I have a family friendly discussion forum, and am trying to get discussion on various sects...or just plain old christian discussion! There is a christian section which already has a couple of threads (sects) in progress. Please feel free to join in the discussion or, if you don't see your church mentioned in any of the topic titles in that section, please feel free to create your own new topic for it.
Registration is free and the forum rules can be found here....
It would be an honour to have you post there...that is if you wish to, of course.
Have a wonder filled day!

Nan said...

When are you going to post again? Slacker!!