Surrendering to God's love (Nouwen's Prodigal Son), post 1

Through December and the first part of January, my companion has been Henri Nouwen's book The Return of the Prodigal Son. I have been wanting to read this book for years, but it waited until its time. Some books have a time. You know what I mean? Some books drop into your life to say exactly what you need to hear precisely when you need to hear it. Such is the case with Nouwen's Prodigal Son for me.

The first time through the book, I bonded with the themes Nouwen draws out of Jesus' story of the Prodigal Son: Nouwen can relate to the wayward prodigal and his judgmental older brother, but he feels called to be like their gracious father. That's basically the message of the book. It is a journey through needing God's grace to being a vessel of God's grace. I think we all need to hear that message.

The second time through the book something else has grabbed me. (A few books are worth reading more than once.) I have realized that Nouwen is a kindred spirit. His journey is my journey. Or better, we are on the same journey toward union with the same God. But Nouwen has expressed it with an eloquence I don't possess. It's almost like finding a friend who, in verbalizing his own heart, gives voice to yours as well. Those friends are rare.

To be continued...


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