Thursday, April 23, 2009

This one is hitting hard

This thought from Henri Nouwen arrived in my inbox several weeks ago. As I was sorting through the emails from the Henri Nouwen society that I've flagged to share on my blog at some point, this one jumped out at me.

Life has not been easy this last while, and joy has been rather hard to come by.

I flew across the country this last weekend to be with a dear friend who consistently reminds me that "crushed grapes can produce tasty wine." A friend who would offer advice in truth, even when I can't always yet feel the truth of what she says. I needed the challenges she offered, hard as they were at moments to hear.

And I'm grateful for her voice, and others, who remind me of the truths I've struggled to cling to.

Henri writes:

Friends as Reminders of Our Truth

Sometimes our sorrow overwhelms us so much that we no longer can believe in joy. Life just seems a cup filled to the brim with war, violence, rejection, loneliness, and endless disappointments.

At times like this we need our friends to remind us that crushed grapes can produce tasty wine. It might be hard for us to trust that any joy can come from our sorrow, but when we start taking steps in the direction of our friends' advice, even when we ourselves are not yet able to feel the truth of what they say, the joy that seemed to be lost may be found again and our sorrow may become livable.