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Journey of the Heart PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sherry   
Thursday, 05 April 2007 05:38
Charles Colson, of Prison Fellowship fame, did one of his radio commentaries yesterday on a PBS documentary on the life of Henri Nouwen which will be airing this Easter season. Colson writes:

"Now, of course, the fear is that when such a figure is profiled on PBS-or any TV station, for that matter-that his faith will be watered down and his message diluted into some vague feel-good pap deemed acceptable to the multiculturally minded. I am happy to report that that is not the case at all in this documentary. The emphasis is often on Henri's message of God's love for humanity and the fact that each of us is God's "beloved child"- a message that, tragically, is often
distorted today to make it sound as if God loves us so much that He does not care what we do.

But Nouwen did not make that mistake, and the film doesn't either. "Journey of the Heart" emphasizes repeatedly that the source of Nouwen's faith, calling, and identity was Jesus Christ. And the cost of discipleship in Henri's life-to borrow a phrase from another great Christian thinker-is also very much on display here. Many people interviewed for the film discuss his struggles with depression or "self- rejection." It is made clear that the reason for his emphasis on God's love, and his ability to identify with the broken and wounded, was precisely that he often felt unloved and unworthy.

Now, the film acknowledges that Henri Nouwen was no perfect saint. But the way he lived out Christ's love should be an inspiration to all of us. One of the most moving parts of the "Journey of the Heart" is when disabled members of the L'Arche Daybreak community talk about how much Nouwen meant to them and how much they still love and miss him. What an example of the truth that Christ spoke when He said, "By their fruits you shall know them."

I heard Henri Nouwen speak once - while I was a student at Fuller. My most vivid memory is of him giving a impromptu piano concert between sessions.

 

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