Thank you for your patience.
My reflections have been minimal of late as life has been a tad busy.
It always is at this time of year. Working in higher education, when the calendar hits mid-August, it is “go time.” Our ministry is filled with preparation, engagement, and prayers. It is truly exciting, especially when we welcome new students to campus and welcome home returning students.
As I take a breath tonight, I feel a great sense of peace. It exists in the midst of a full calendar with many, many opportunities to engage students and colleagues.
In the reflection on some recent conversations with students, and in anticipation of the ministry moments that my colleagues and students will experience in the coming weeks, I am reminded of these words from Henri Nouwen, from his book Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life:
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
While I have the privilege and blessing to be a campus minister, this call for this type of friendship that Nouwen describes is not limited to those who engage in spiritual work as a profession.
We are all called to be present, to share in the pain of others, and to touch the wounds of those most in need.
Life will always be busy, presenting different obstacles and challenges. The invitation and opportunity awaits all of us to an encounter with God in friendship with one another. This accompaniment is what brings us peace- connecting us to our deep, inherent calling of unconditional love that drives our soul.
I pray that as your days come to a close, you too can reflect on your recent hours, knowing they were spent as a friend who cares.