Saturday, April 07, 2007

On Relationship


“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.” -
Henri Nouwen

4 comments:

Yadah said...

Rose . . . It all just takes time, doesn't it? Sometimes I think if I do those things, I will have not left significance for future generations. Why is that so hard to change in our thinking? It feels like we have to do the work in mass quantities. How did we get tricked into thinking we had to speak to huge crowds of people to really consider our lives meaningful?

I enjoy your posts - been reading them for several months now. Thanks!

Jim Watters said...

Hey Rose - thanks for the post, so very good! Blessings, Jim

steven hamilton said...

thanks for that rose...it reminds me amidst seeking to do something significant for His Kingdom that i need to be intentional about a ministry of presence..it also reminds me of what mother teresa of calcutta once said: 'It is not the magnitude of our actions but the amount of love that is put into them that matters...'

peace

SB said...

Nouwen's words stir up an ache that I don't really want to deal with right now. I'm too afraid that I'm not willing to heed that call...