The Inner Voice of Who Knows What

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

Day 28: Let me let you in.

Henri, Love Deeply:

Do not hesitate to love and to love deeply. You might be afraid of the pain that deep love can cause. When those you love deeply reject you, leave you, or die, your heart will be broken. But that should not hold you back from loving deeply. The pain that comes from deep love makes your love ever more fruitful. It is like a plow that breaks to ground to allow the seed to take root and grow into a strong plant. Every time you experience the pain of rejection, absence, or death, you are faced with a choice. You can become bitter and decide not to love again, or you can stand straight in your pain and let the soil on which you stand become richer and more able to give life to new seeds.

The more you have loved and have allowed yourself to suffer because of your love, the more you will be able to let your heart grow wider and deeper. When your love is truly giving and receiving, those whom you love will not leave your heart even when they depart from you. They will become part of your self and thus gradually build a community within you.

Those you have deeply loved become part of you. The longer you live, there will always be more people to be loved by you and to become part of your inner community. The wider your inner community becomes, the more easily you will recognize your own brothers and sisters in the strangers around you. Those who are alive within you will recognize those who are alive around you. The wider the community of your heart, the wider the community around you. Thus the pain of rejection, absence, and death can become fruitful. Yes, as you love deeply the ground of your heart will be broken more and more, but you will rejoice in the abundance of the fruit it will bear.


become a part of me
let me
let you in
my heart is roomy enough for you
(and you and you and you)

and she’s learning how not to collapse
if you choose to leave
this great meeting-tent
gathering place to eat and sing and laugh and be

become a part of me
let me
let you sink in
my heart is soft enough for you
(to leave your fingerprints for a while)

and she loves loud and long and strong
and calls after you when you leave
sometimes too loud and long and strong

but please, sink in
they told me to guard her
(guard your heart, little girl
so hurt will not happen, tears will not drench you, pain will not press in
so deep)

they told me to guard her
but it never works
you always sneak in, don’t you…
giggling, uninvited guest
(but not unwanted)
and i am so glad you came, you little sneak
my heart could never keep you out in the cold

so glad you came
that even hurt and tears and pain
are good – because
they tell me she is still beating
loud and long and strong

she remembers you, your scent on her
she holds your ghost close and keeps you within

and though broken from your absence
the beat loud and long and strong
is mending the torn seams
little by little

the beat is rhythm
with an invitation to improvise
the beat is loving deeply
with a beckoning to love and love again

becoming whole, mending
little by little
to invite more of yous in
(and you and you and you)

let me
let you in


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2 thoughts on “Day 28: Let me let you in.

  1. “and she loves loud and long and strong” ~ you nailed it, Jess.

    They say your biggest asset can be your biggest weakness. What do “they” know?

  2. Elaine Clymer on said:

    Wonderful poem, Jessica.

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