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

Within each of us there is a lamb and a lion. Our lion is our adult, aggressive self. It is our initiative-taking and decision-making self. But we also have a lamb in us which is the fearful, vulnerable part of us that needs affection, support, affirmation and nurturing.  Spiritual maturity is the ability to let the lamb and lion lie down together. If we pay attention to only our lion, we will find ourselves overextended and exhausted. When we take notice only of our lamb, we will easily become a victim of our need to for other people’s attention.  We need to fully claim both our lion and our lamb.  Then we can act assertively without denying our own needs. We can ask for affection and care without betraying our talent to offer leadership. As we develop our identity as a child of God, it doesn’t mean we give up our responsibilities. The more we feel safe as a child of God, the freer we will be to claim our mission in the world and also to open ourselves to letting our deepest need be met. May our lion and lamb freely and fearlessly lie down together.   On our bedside table we have a ceramic lion with a lamb resting in the circle of his paws as a reminder of this!