Tuesday, September 04, 2007


I have been picking my way through Henri Nouwen's book, 'Compassion', and the reason for my slowness is anything but boredom. On the contrary, this book has more markings covering its pages than a football coach's chalkboard. I have been feasting slowly on the observations of a Godly man whose life and ministry I deeply admire. Since I haven't finished the book (in all honesty I have only finished two chapters... the other reason being a mad flourish of wedding preparations) I will save most of my comments for the end, but wanted to post this paragraph today. It moved me, and it moves me still...

"Jesus' whole life and mission involve accepting powerlessness and
revealing in this powerlessness the limitlessness of God's love. Here
we see what compassion means. It is not a bending toward the
underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not a reaching out
from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a
gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the
upward pull. On the contrary, compassion means going directly to
those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a
home there. God's compassion is total, absolute, unconditional,
without reservation. It is the compassion of the one who keeps going
to the most forgotten corners of the world, and who cannot rest as
long as there are still human beings with tears in their eyes..."

- excerpt from 'Compassion' (pg. 25)

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