I’m forever grateful to my Lutheran minister friend, Kristy, who first introduced me to the writings of Henry J.M. Nouwen. I have read several of Father Nouwen’s books and they always challenge me in my relationship with Jesus.
Today, I’m re-reading “In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership.” Here is an excerpt that I keep reading over and over again. It can speak for itself–I just wanted to share.
Look at Jesus. The world did not pay any attention to him. He was crucified and put away. His message of love was rejected by a world in search of power, efficiency, and control. But there he was, appearing with wounds in his glorified body to a few friends who had eyes to see, ears to hear, and hearts to understand. This rejected, unknown, wounded Jesus simply asked, “Do you love me, do you really love me?” He whose only concern had been to announce the unconditional love of God had only one question to ask, “Do you love me?”
The question is not: How many people take you seriously? How much are you going to accomplish? Can you show me some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus? Perhaps another way of putting the question would be, “Do you know the incarnate God? In our world of lonliness and despair, there is an enormous need for men and women who know the heart of God, a heart that forgives, that cares, that reaches out and wants to heal. In that heart there is no suspicion, no vindictiveness, no resentment, and not a tinge of hatred. It is a heart that wants only to give love and receive love in response. It is a heart that suffers immensely because it sees the magnitude of human pain and the great resistance to trusting the heart of God who wants to offer consolation and hope.