Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wounded Healer

I've been rereading a book called "The Wounded Healer" by Henri Nouwens. Its not a book that can be skimmed through - there's a LOT to chew on and to try to understand! And also to see if you agree with him - after all, just because it is in a book by a well respected writer, doesn't mean it has to be swallowed whole, does it? First published in 1979, it speaks of 'nuclear man' - seems to be his name for today's 'postmodern man' A man ahead of his time? Some extracts: "Nuclear man no longer believes in anything that is always and everywhere true and valid." And we can see the evidence of that kind of relativism, can't we? The 'grey areas' of life seem to have multiplied: few things seem to be black or white any more. So much has become relative - think of the Middle East crises. Our take on it depends on which side of the fence we are standing. It has become increasingly difficult to form an opinion - there are pros and cons both ways. In our own country, today's liberation heroes were 'terrorists' 20 years ago. Leadership changes, a different perspective is brought to light and everything shifts and blurs. People who had been seen as traitors were now held up as those brave ones who dared to defy the old ways. Things that seemed true then, are now shown to be not true. How would it be if leadership changed again? Would we again be subject to shifting sands of 'facts' To what extent were we, and are we now, being brainwashed? Pilot's question: "What IS truth" is a very good one. Another quote: "He (nuclear man) is primarily looking for experiences that give him a sense of value" I have to admit that I see that in myself. I really want to feel that my life has had value; that it has made a positive difference in other's lives. My question about this for Mr Nouwens would be: "Haven't people always wanted that?" I suppose that we have to learn to get our sense of value from the truth that God loves us. After all, He proved the high value He places on us by the price He was prepared to pay for us. If we try to get our sense of value by experiences and the opinions of other people, we are on very shaky ground indeed. Quicksand even Because we all know how fickle people are, even the nicest of them. And experiences come and go Some good, some bad. . . Still very much in the process of pondering on these things -


Ness @ Drovers Run said... turner. :) Just kidding. Glad to see I'm not the only one up at this hour trawling teh interwebz.

allie said...

Nah - its ok, Ness.
I knew it wasn't the kind of post that would interest many people.
Feel free to be bored ;-)

By the way, the time thingie on my blog is wrong - I posted at a respectable time of night.

I always mention if I post in the wee hours coz its so unusual for me

Lynette said...

Our topic of conversation in cell group this week is how do you measure success...and it is scary that most people measure their success in their position at work or in what possessions they have managed to collect around them. The relationship with the Lord is very seldom even getting into this equation.

Have a great weekend.

Rambler said...

I've never read "The Wounded Healer" but think I need to tuck into it. I read "Can You Drink the Cup" and "The Inner Voice of Love" (I think that's the names, and they were both incredibly powerful in my life...

Nouwen was a man with many struggles - his story is incredibly similar to mine in parts... especially his struggles with his sexuality and need to be validated...

And yes, so many things are grey, and becoming different shades of grey, which make it all the more confusing...

Great post... going to find the book this weekend!

allie said...

So glad you going to read it, Clive - then I'll be able to run things by you.
Always good to bounce ideas off someone like minded, don't you think

Don't forget about Soul Survivor (Philip Yancey's book) - I am currently rereading that too.

SUCH an amazing book too - you gunna love it and I think Frank might too.

allie said...

Thats quite sobering in a cell group scenario, isn't it, Lynette?

Good question to think about though: What is my measurement of success?


Anonymous said...

Hey ma. I have a book called "Henri Nouwen Illuminated". Its really beautiful. Small, not a book book, more of an, um, i dunno! Its by a guy who is into graphic imagery and has taken amazing photographs and created designs to complement the writing of Nouwen, and each chapter he is quoted with the visual graphics to emphasise what he is bringing out. I think i shall have to pop it up! Its too hard to explain! LOL. Maybe later!XX

allie said...

Come NOW ok?

Come swim wif me - its so flippin hot but no fun to swim alone