We Are ALL Bruised Reeds from Henri Nouwen

I find great comfort in Henri Nouwen’s words. 

He was a Catholic priest who struggled with depression at times and ended his years living and serving at L’Arche-a community of able and disabled persons living together.

He wrote extensively and honestly and openly about his own struggles.  He was full of compassion for fellow travelers. 

He was honest about loose ends. 

I like that.

I’m sure I would have liked him too. 

Not Breaking the Bruised Reeds

Some of us tend to do away with things that are slightly damaged. Instead of repairing them we say: “Well, I don’t have time to fix it, I might as well throw it in the garbage can and buy a new one.” Often we also treat people this way. We say: “Well, he has a problem with drinking; well, she is quite depressed; well, they have mismanaged their business…we’d better not take the risk of working with them.” When we dismiss people out of hand because of their apparent woundedness, we stunt their lives by ignoring their gifts, which are often buried in their wounds.

We all are bruised reeds, whether our bruises are visible or not. The compassionate life is the life in which we believe that strength is hidden in weakness and that true community is a fellowship of the weak.

– Henri J. M. Nouwen

If you would like to receive daily devotionals from his writings you can click here and sign up:  henrinouwen.org

bruised reed

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

2 thoughts on “We Are ALL Bruised Reeds from Henri Nouwen”

  1. A question Melanie. I haven’t read anything by Henri, but a friend of mine has and she told me that he says unforgiveness blocks healing. She strongly implied that my daughter died from cystic fibrosis in spite of thousands praying for her healing because of some unforgiveness in her heart. Can I ask if this is an accurate representation of his teaching?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. To my knowledge, in his writings I have read, that is not accurate. He lived and worked with many people who had “ incurable” issues and that is inconsistent with what I’ve read if his. I do know he was a big believer in un forgiveness blocking emotional healing. Sounds like your friend got the two confused. I’m sorry she said that- whatever the source. ❤️

      We know that is simply not true.

      Like

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