why i need the word

February 27, 2008


The great temptation of our lives is to deny our role as chosen people and so allow ourselves to be trapped in the worries of our daily lives.  Without the word that keeps lifting us up as God’s chosen people, we remain, or become, small people, stuck in the complaints that emerge from our daily struggle to survive.  Without the word that makes our hearts burn, we can’t do much more than walk home, resigned to the sad fact that there is nothing new under the sun.  Without the word, our life has little meaning, little vitality, and little energy.  Without the word, we remain little people with little concerns who live little lives and die little deaths.  Without the word, we still may be a news item in the local or even national newspaper for a day or two, but there will be no generations to call us blessed. 

–Henry Nouwen, With Burning Hearts

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 

The Gospel of


3 Responses to “why i need the word”

  1. Bill Gorman Says:

    Nouwen is wonderful voice for Protestant Evangelicals to be listening to. I’m glad so many have been discovering him.

  2. Stacie Says:

    It is dreadfully easy to join the nothing new under the sun sect…little people with little concerns who live little lives and die little deaths. Thank you for sharing this “between the eyes” excerpt. I’m enjoying this rich, beautiful space you’ve crafted and find it to be such a cool part of who you are.

  3. jt Says:

    I discovered Nouwen (really and truly) five years ago, during a week-long Sabbath retreat. My mother was very ill with cancer and Nouwen was my very good friend.

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