The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

the pilgrimage: Henri Nouwen and my own topsy-turvy little heart

Day 7: Brewing.

Henri, Remain Attentive to Your Best Intuitions:

You are living through an unusual time. You see taht you are called to go toward solitude, prayer, hidden-ness, and great simplicity. You see that, for the time being, you have to be limited in your movements, sparing with phone calls, and careful with letter writing.

You also know that the fulfillment of your burning desire for intimate friendships, shared ministry, and creative work will not bring you what you really want. It is a new experience for you to feel both the desire and its unreality. You sense that nothing but God’s love can fulfill your deepest need while pull to other people and things remains strong. It seems that peace and anguish exist side by side in you, that you desire both distraction and prayerful concentration.

Trust the clarity with which you see what you have to do. The thought that you may have to live away from friends, busy work, newspapers, and exciting books no longer scares you. It no longer gives rise to anxiety about what others will think, say, or do. Even the idea that you may soon be forgotten and lose your connections with the world does not upset you.

You find prayer quite easy. What a grace! People around you are going to the theater, ballet classes, or dinner parties, and you do not feel rejected or abandoned when they do not invite you to join them. In fact, you are very happy to be alone in your room. It is not hard to speak to Jesus and listen to him speaking to you. You are becoming aware of how close Jesus is to you. He holds you safe in his love. At times, memories of past events and fantasies about the future pierce your heart, but these painful incidents have become less frightening, less devastating, less paralyzing. It almost seems as if they are necessary reminders of your need to stay close – very close – to Jesus.

You know that something totally new, truly unique, is happening within you. It is clear that something in you is dying and something is being born. You must remain attentive, calm, and obedient to your best intuitions. You keep asking yourself, “What about the ways I have done and said things in the past? What about my many options in the future?” Suddenly you realize that these questions are no longer meaningful. In the new life you are entertaining, they won’t be raised anymore. The stage sets that have for so long provided a background for your thoughts, words, and actions are slowly being rolled away, and you know they won’t come back.

You feel a strange sadness. An enormous loneliness emerges, but you are not frightened. You feel vulnerable but safe at the same time. Jesus is where you are, and you can trust that he will show you the next step.


In the new life you are entering…
Henri speaks here like he’s on the brink of resolution – like the ending of his process is just around the corner.
I know that’s a big fat NO for me.
Part of the painful beauty of this blog project is that I have no way of tricking myself into thinking that resolution and healing will be coming any time soon. Not until this project is over, December 31st…… and then I’m pretty positive not for a long while. At least I intentionally am able to drag it out for a bit. : )

But this I know is true:
… that something totally new, truly unique, is happening within you… something is dying and something is being born.
You must remains attentive, calm, and obedient to your best intuitions.

(Is it not a pity that so often God’s voice – this intuition that lets us hear something deeper – is not the one we want to hear?
I enjoy my voice, with its ways of manipulating and justifying and articulating things so nicely they can’t help but be echoes of God’s voice.

But this something new and unique happening within me… Yes, it’s there. No question.
The task now is to find out exactly what it is that’s happening.


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One thought on “Day 7: Brewing.

  1. Interesting. I dont know if I can trust my intuition. It is often easily swade like a ship in a storm. What do I do then?

    Exit question: “Is it the task at hand really to be finding out what is happening?”

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