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

Sometimes in our friendships we look for proof and concrete responses of their caring.  But when we really know we are loved by God, we can allow our friends the freedom to respond to our love in their way. They have their own histories and their own ways of receiving love. They may be slower, more cautious, and more hesitant.  Even though their way may be unusual and different  than our way, it is authentic for them. We can trust that those who love us want to show their love in a real way, even when their choices of time, place and form are different from ours.  We need to allow our friends the freedom to respond as they want and are able to. May we let their receiving be as free as our own giving. Then we will become capable of feeling true gratitude.