“There is a twilight zone in our own hearts that we ourselves cannot see. Other people, especially those who love us, can often see our twilight zones better than we ourselves can. The way we are seen and understood by others is different from the way we see and understand ourselves.” —Henri Nouwen in Bread for the Journey (HarperSanFrancisco, 1997).
I do believe it is not a coincidence that certain people come into our lives. I remember Catherine Marshall talking about praying for patience; and soon afterwards she happened to hire the slowest housekeeper. I learned about homosexuality from so many gay friends, especially Richard and Terry and Joe, as I walked beside them through their struggles. I became aware of the depth, love, and concern for others present in those of the Muslim faith among my radiology residents and partners, especially Sadaf and her family.
These are all people I already loved. Today I am getting just a little hint that I also have much to learn from the “difficult” people who come onto my path. Over and over I know I am being taught by them about forgiveness; for I know if I cannot forgive the harm they have brought to my life, I continue to let them hurt me. Slowly I also am admitting my part: my character defects, my sins, my hubris, my self-centeredness that contributed to the difficult situation.
As I meet with friends for spiritual direction, we often discuss what lessons we believe God is teaching us in our contact with each person with whom our lives intersect—whether it be a joyful or difficult experience. Again, this is how we gain the courage to deal with that twilight zone in ourselves and in others that Nouwen describes.
The sacred place where God heals us is in our solidarity—especially as we enlarge our community and take down fences and walls.
Come and get a signed copy of the new book
Just in time for the holidays
A Spiritual Rx for Advent Christmas, and Epiphany
The Sequel to A Spiritual Rx for Lent and Easter
Both are $18
All Money from sale of the books goes either to Camp Mitchel Camp and Conference Center in Arkansas or Hurricane Relief in the Diocese of Central Gulf Coast
Seibert’s, 27 River Ridge Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72227
10 to noon, THIS Saturday September 14, 2019