Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Romance of Brokenness


Henri Nouwen as an author frustrates me. His titles promise more than I find inside. What I am trying to work out is whether I am missing something or what. I am reading 'Can You Drink the Cup' at the moment. Someone told me the book moved her to tears. But I can't get it. And I want to get it!

The one book of his that touched me was one written while he was in hospital for psychiatric therapy after some sort of breakdown. His cries of loneliness and the need to be loved really touched me at my own point of hurt - I couldn't actually finish the book. (Can't remember what it was called!)

Nouwen does write of brokenness. And we all need to experience brokenness in order to find renewal and new life in Jesus. But I wonder if we don't watch his experience of being broken and romanticise it? There is great joy in renewal and restoration and somehow that colours our view of brokenness. It looks like a pretty thing. More sweet than sorrowful. But brokenness is painful. I have not found it a pleasant place to be. Not a place to stop, but to move on as quickly as possible.

Why am I different to others? Am I too used to brokenness in my own life? Or am I unable to be sufficiently open to God to experience what others experience? Two extremes! I hope I find out one day.

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