Tuesday, February 03, 2004

mercy me

Henry Nouwen spoke to me about something last night that I haven't thought of in a long time. He mentioned that when we get silent, the noise inside of us gets loud. What usually is the loudest is lust and anger. He said that this inner anger stems from unresolved relationships and this inner lust stems from unsatisfied desires.

He mentioned that usually we tend to do violence to these two noises. We tend to try to burn them or destroy them in some way. We try to beat them up as if they were not a part of us. When this happens we tend to do violence to ourselves. Nouwen reminded me that Christ has called me to be merciful to my neighbor. But Christ also called me to be merciful to myself.

Nouwen, in his powerfully simple way, offers an alternative to trying to conquer these inner noises by force. He suggests that we embrace these inner factions and treat them with mercy. He suggests that instead of making enemies of them and thus ourselves, he wonders if we couldn't treat them as friends.

I wonder, as well, just how one goes about being merciful to oneself? It makes sense though. Of all the people to greet with mercy, it might be good to begin with the enemies within.

Father, help me to see myself as you see me. Even the worst parts of me.


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