Tuesday, October 2, 2012


My dear sweet friend, Pat, who knows my love for Henri Nouwen, gave me a book 2 years ago to read before we left seminary. I just now found it again and have started reading it. It's called The Way of the Heart and I think I'm going to have to read it very slowly, cuz it packed with stuff.

I'm thinking a lot about solitude lately, how bout you? To start off with, my whole definition is changing daily about this word. I use to equal it to solitary confinement, and while the words are similar, I believe the way in which I'm looking at them is what is changing. 

Nouwen say's it this way: Solitude is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter...the place of our salvation. 

The Desert Father's and Mother's left what they knew and went out into the desert to live a life of solitude, yet in their aloneness, they were with Jesus. Jesus himself went out into the desert where he was tempted with the 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").

Solitude is the place where great struggles and great encounters happen! We struggle with our false self and we encounter God who offers himself as a substance of the new self. 

I know all this, really I do. However, lately, I've been struggling with just about everything. Things used to work so well, pray life was good, heard from God, took time to knock and seek and I really thought I was in the desert. What I'm understanding now is, I was in a sort of solitude. That solitude is calling me back again, and I'm struggling with how to do that and ministry. Kinda like, the rubber hitting the road.

So, I'm on a journey that I feel like I've been on before, yet there are things that I left by the side of the road, so I could pick them up again, when the time was more right. I'm thinking the time is more right. 

It's kinda like what Augustine said:

Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full,
that thou mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty.

Wow! Won't you walk with me for awhile on this road?

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