Did you notice that just now?
That unexpected spaciousness in the midst of
everything trying to get through the door at once.
A delicious “Ahhhh!”
A sense that it’s going to be fine.
It is fine.
You keep thinking you need
more days with nothing scheduled,
more weeks of walking on the beach
or puttering in the kitchen
as if spaciousness only lives there
and not here
and untimely requests.
You only need to put your mother-hands on your heart
or cup your face with your child-hands,
take a deep breath and let
your heart come down from the ledge
your mind notice its thoughts
your body remember its wholeness.
All you need at this moment
you already have.
Did you hear that just now?
That skeptical thought?
Don’t shoo it away.
Some part of you doesn’t quite believe Me
but it wants to.
Hold that part of you in your mother-arms
close your eyes
and take it with you
back into that spaciousness
You calm the roar of the seas and the noise of the waves.
–Psalm 65:7 (GNT)
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“Befriend your feeling of loneliness. Befriend that loss,” I heard Nouwen say in a recording of a talk he gave to a L’Arche gathering in 1994 entitled “Finding our Sacred Centre. Many years ago, reading Henri Nouwen’s The Way of the Heart set my heart on pilgrimage. I wrote about this profound experience in the opening chapter of Stories of an Everyday Pilgrim. So I was delighted to discover the Now and Then Podcasts. In these podcasts, Karen Pascal, executive director of the Henri Nouwen Society interviews spiritual writers, thinkers, and leaders who have been influenced by Nouwen such as Sister Joan Chittister, Brian McLaren, and Anne Lamott. There are also recordings of talks Henri Nouwen gave. What a gift.