Gleanings: All is Grace

A few days ago, I quoted Henri Nouwen as saying God is waiting to see “the slides of our lives” when we get to heaven.  The quotation raised the possibility (given its being cited apart from the original context) that God only wanted us to show “the happy times.”  But thst is not what Nouwen meant.

This additional quote from him clears up any confusion and reminds us that all is grace–that the totality of our lives (what the ancients called consolation and desolation) are to be “befriended”and lived with the confidence that God is with us….

We all must hold the cups of our lives. As we grow older and become more fully aware of the many sorrows of life – personal failures, family conflicts, disappointments in work and social life, and the many pains surrounding us on the national and international scene – everything within and around us conspires to make us ignore, avoid, suppress, or simply deny these sorrows. “Look at the sunny side of life and make the best of it,” we say to ourselves and hear others say to us. But when we want to drink the cups of our lives, we need first to hold them, to fully acknowledge what we are living, trusting that by not avoiding but befriending our sorrows we will discover the true joy we are looking for right in the midst of our sorrows.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to Gleanings: All is Grace

  1. aliceny says:

    Yes! Facing reality, calling it like it is works. It is the only way. Otherwise, we keep pushing the pain back into our subconscious until there is so much already there tthat we can no longer deal with it. Then — we are in big trouble.

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