--My Sunday Journal
BEING VULNERABLE CAN BE HEALING
writer Henri Nouwens became so burned out in doing good that he felt he
was losing his own soul. A friend who ran a center for the mentally
handicapped invited him to come there where he could be loved by people
who had no expectations. He went and was healed.
He said, "Handicapped people didn't love or care for me because I
write books. They don't know that. If they express love, it comes from
It reminded me of the time I wrote "A Little Christmas Every
Day" and shot a video singing it with the chorus from a similar
center in my hometown. When those kids hugged me, I felt I was being
hugged by God. I honestly remember thinking that. We loved each other so
For two Christmas seasons, I went with them on some of their bookings
and sang the song with them. When I arrived, each of them would hug me.
I always felt a powerful spiritual current each time they would hug me.
Just being around loving people who had no expectations of me was
Each Christmas since I performed with them has had a touch of sadness
for me. I miss them. But there is a touch of gladness, too. I am so glad
they asked me to write a special song for them and I have some treasured
memories to re-enjoy each Christmas season.
My sister adopted a mentally handicapped boy and he has been a great
blessing to all of us. Just today he told me, "I like you and I am
gonna keep you a long, long time."
Nouwens said, "A spirituality of being with vulnerable people and
of being vulnerable with them - that's the great journey." I am
taking that journey and I plan to continue it a long, long time.
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