This book for Book Club Monday is a blast from the past. Particularly a blast from the hippy era.
A book by Henri J. M. Nouwen challenges Christian leaders what it means to be a Wounded Healer (hence the title)
Nouwen dives into what it means for a minister to sincerely lead his people in the paths of God. He discusses the struggle leaders have to connect generations to each other and the importance of having compassion for the people you are serving.
Nouwen shows the current clash that all churches have between the young and older people. On one side we have a lively passionate rebelious generation exploring life. and on the other. Weathered people who are seeking the rest rather than exploration of who God is.
But what connects us all
(didn’t see that coming did you)
Here is Nouwen’s thoughts on this…
“The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift.”
Nouwen points out that this loneliness is our common bond. It is the feeling that we all must face whether we like it or not. This loneliness is the challenge. It forces people to be vulnerable with others and overcome this feeling together. It can be seen as a uniter rather than a severe divider.
It is the leader that must unite us. The leader who must be the first to explore and work through this emotion then walk with his community.
After all “Who can take away suffering with out entering it?”
It is a necessity that we expose our struggles which will induce an intense pain. And it is in this same pain that we understand what it means to be the broken healer. The one who readily bind up our wounds as well as others.
We plunge into all of this pain again and again to bandage up the broken. We know what it takes. The strength it requires and through those moments leaders lead the hurt and the broken because they are the broken.
Ministers point to our hope that we have in this world. They leap into the unknown clinging on to hope for their dear life.
Nouwen says, “Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have and frees us to move away from the safe place and enter the unknown and fearful territory.”
Ministers demonstrate what it means to be a healer through our wounds.
Have you read this book yet? What did you think?