Henri Nouwen is one of those writers that had influenced and continue to influence many people through his writings. He articulates with great mastery and depth the problems touching on our affectivity, on our hidden thirst for God, on our need to love and be loved. He speaks with authority and moving simplicity on the one thing which brings us to give meaning and sense to our life: he helps people to find God, to find hope again, to say ‚yes‛ again and again to life, standing up to hold its bitter cup and drench it with joy. His is a response to that deep cry of man, arising from the depths of his solitude: ‚- I am alone, I am broken, I need healing." Reading Nouwen is like drinking from the very wells of a spiritual source.
Although he drew many people out of the darkness of their solitude and fear into the broad light of the sense of friendship and love, he remarks that he too has had his own share of crisis, of deep-human wounds. He notes somewhere:
"I am not saying it like a doormat. I am not saying I am nobody. I am not worth much or psychologically a wreck. I am saying I am a very weak, broken, sinful, fragile, and short-living person - but I rejoice in it. I can stand under the cross of my suffering - or God's suffering -but I can stand. I do not have to fall apart. I stand with my head erect. I can do that."
In these words we could discover the secret of his authority. It is hidden in the force of his vulnerable fragility, a fragility that is transformed into a well of life through acceptance.
Only a wounded man can enter the very depths of the wounds of others. For when we become aware of our own wounds, then we become more sensitive to those of others; once we have been betrayed, we discover our own betrayals: this startling discovery leads us to the journey towards compassion and love. This startling discovery of our fragility is the space where the miracle of love takes place. We learn, like frail children to depend, to lean on God and on others. The edifice of our illusions crumbles; it is the moment of grace.
Each one of us carries his/her wounds within. Each of us has his/her own fear, unique and it imprints itself in his/her being in a particular way. Maybe each of us is identified by it. Sometimes it cripples us, it paralyzes us, it puts us right down beyond the mire. But our wounds may be the only door through which God and others may pass through into our lives.
I am not there to describe the kinds of fears that inhabit us. I care far little about it. But I am aware of one thing: many of us are conditioned by our fear; our fear may be at the root cause of many things we do, and sometimes of certain successes and achievements of our life. We are afraid of what others may think of us, of losing a certain job, a position, of not living up to expectation, of not being anymore in the limelight. We are afraid also of the unknown, of what may lie beyond our faltering steps. And the most subtle of fears, is that which we dare not look in the face, the fear that what we fear may be true.
We are afraid to lose the security of what we own. Or we are afraid to have labored in vain without being able to achieve the dream of our life. We are afraid for things we can’t let go; we are afraid also for what would not let us alone. Thus fear inhabits us.
Consciously or unconsciously, we live with it and it constantly threatens our inner freedom, bringing up to the surface the truth we do not want to face: - we are weak, we are fragile, we are so vulnerable.
There is a more fundamental fear of our ultimate solitude. We know that the solidarity of life leads us slowly to the solitude of our death. It is strange. But somewhere, we understand, or at least perceive the hard truth that there is that distance between us and our fellow humans, the distance we call solitude - it is that space within which a lot of things happen, a lot has to be sought out, a lot has to be conquered. It is also that space where we have to seek ourselves, and there we meet the God of our Solitude, the God of our freedom, and the God of our night. No one can enter into the sphere of our solitude, no one can give it meaning. Only we can adequately drink from its springs.
Solitude is a path that leads us out of our fear. And it is a place where we identify or define our fear. Sometimes we do not want to enter into this space because it shakes and challenges us, it tells us the truth of who we are, it unmasks the feigned images we put on playing behind the public screen, it places our own poverty before us, distinctly and clearly; and, most of all it unveils our nudity letting us discover to our discomfort our brokenness.
When I cited Henri Nouwen above, it was simply to point out to the fact that our solitude becomes a place, not only of discovering our weak and broken nature, but rather a place where we understand that the wounds of our flesh are the ones that make us mature in the things of God, that the tears flowing from that naked flesh become fresh dew for the dawn of our humanity: they make us mature. Our wounds are creative insofar as they become a passage through which others can pass into our humanity and through which our humanity overflows unto others. I know only one sure way through which God enters our lives: through our open wounds.
welcome to the WORLD OF HAVEN VALLEY
I am not a cut different from the ordinary human who walks the street. But in my journey, I strive to understand the music that surges from the wide worlds within every individual, that which makes him/her that fragile and sacred at the same time. I have found myself sometimes looking at someone farting with thumps-up as though goading him on to sanity. Seemingly meaningless things have been things that have communicated sense to me especially during louring hours. That is what this journal is. I offer these thoughts to the world with wonted pleasure and gratitude to all that awakens the human in me.