Thursday, July 24, 2008

My True Vocation

(Rembrandt's "Prodigal Son")

This week I'm re-reading Henri Nouwen's beautiful and brilliant book The Return of the Prodigal Son. I'll preach on these verses (Luke 15) this coming Sunday. This is my third read of this book, and I feel I'm getting more out of it than ever.

Nouwen reminds me of my true vocation. For many years I have taken much time to go alone and be in God's presence for the sake of being met by him and loved by him. Nouwen talks of that inner place where I can be embraced and eveloped by the loving arms of God, just as the younger son on this parable is.

Nouwen writes: "I have a new vocation now. It is the vocation to speak and write from that place back into the many places of my own and other people's restless lives. I have to kneel before the Father, put my ear against his chest and listen, without interruption, to the heartbeat of God. Then, and only then, can I say carefully and very gently what I hear." (17)