Ik kwam pas dit prachtige gebed van (ja, opnieuw) Henri Nouwen tegen. Het is me op het lijf geschreven. Alleen in het Engels deze keer.
O Lord, who else or what else can I desire but you? You are my Lord, Lord of my heart, mind, and soul. You know me through and through. In and through you everything that is finds its origin and goal. You embrace all that exists and care for it with divine love and compassion. Why, then, do I keep expecting happiness and satisfaction outside of you? Why do I keep relating to you as one of my many relationships, instead of my only relationship, in which all other ones are grounded? Why do I keep looking for popularity, respect from others, success, acclaim, and sensual pleasures? Why, Lord, is it so hard for me to make you the only one? Why do I keep hesitating to surrender myself totally to you?
Help me, O Lord, to let my old self die, to let die the thousand big and small ways in which I am still building up my false self and trying to cling to my false desires. Let me be reborn in you and see through you the world in the right way, so that all my actions, words, and thought can become a hymn of praise to you.
I need your loving grace to travel on the hard road that leads to the death of my old self and to a new life in and for you. I know and trust that this is the road to freedom.
Lord, dispel my mistrust and help be become a trusting friend.
Uit: A Cry for Mercy door Henri J.M. Nouwen.
Ik heb pas een boek gelezen met gethematiseerde stukken uit het werk van Henri Nouwen. Dit stuk over ‘displacement’, dat ik maar voor nu met ‘ontheemd zijn’ vertaal, raakten me. Vooral het punt dat het gevoel van ontheemd zijn verbonden kan worden met de zoektocht naar Gods unieke roeping voor ons. Hierbij een aantal citaten die ik uit een langer stuk heb geknipt.
“The Gospels confront us with this persistent voice inviting us to move away from where it is comfortable, from where we want to stay, from where we feel at home.”
“There is an enormous pressure on us to do what is ordinary and proper – even the attempt to excel is ordinary and proper – and thus find the satisfaction of general acceptance.”
“Jesus Christ is the displaced Lord in whom God’s compassion becomes flesh. In him, we see a life of displacement lived to the fullest.”
“Most of us have experienced painful physical displacements. We have moved from one country to another […] in short, from familiar to very unfamiliar surroundings.”
“Our first and often most difficult task, therefore, is to allow these actual displacements to become places where we can hear God’s call.”
“God always calls, always asks us to take up our crosses and follow. But do we see , feel, and recognize that call, or do we keep waiting for the illusory moment when it will really happen? Displacement is not primarily something to do or to accomplish, but something to recognize.”
“To follow Jesus, therefore, means first and foremost to discover in our daily lives God’s unique vocation for us.” (Henri Nouwen, In: Compassion)