Devotions from Henri Nouwen’s book, The Inner Voice of Love

Today’s devotion is about living our wounds through.  We have all be wounded in many way and it may seem like the more we open ourselves up, the more we discover how deep our wounds are.  But the fact that we are more aware of our wounds shows we have sufficient strength to face them.  The challenge is living through our wounds instead of thinking them through.  It is better to cry than to worry, better to feel our wounds deeply than to understand them etc. We need to take our wounds to our heart rather than our heads. With our heads we can analyze then, find their causes and consequences, but no final healing is likely to come from that. We need to let our wounds go down into our heart. Then we can live with them through and know that they will not destroy us. Our heart it greater than our wounds.
Going to our heart with our wounds is not easy’ it demands letting go of why we were wounded and how and by whom.  The answers to these questions don’t bring relief but just give us a little distance from our pain. We have to let go of the need to stay in control of our pain and trust in the healing power of our heart.  There our hurts can find a safe place to be received, and can lose their power to inflict damage and become fruitful soil for new life. We can think of each wound as we would a child who has been hurt by a friend. As long as that child goes around ranting and raving, trying to get back at the friend, the one wound leads to another. But when the child can experience the consoling embrace of a parent, he can live through his pain, return to his friend, and forgive.  Let us be gentle with ourselves, and let our heart be our loving parent as we live our wounds through.