Friday, April 27, 2012

Questions from above (Nouwen) ramblings

Another helpful reminder from Henri Nouwen. Ramblings below after his thoughts ... :-)

Question from Above

What are spiritual questions?  They are questions from above.  Most questions people ask of Jesus are questions from below, such as the question about which of  a woman's seven husbands she will be married to in the resurrection.   Jesus does not answer this question because it comes from a legalistic mind-set.  It is a question from below.

Often Jesus  responds by changing this question.  In the case of the woman with seven husbands he says, "At the resurrection men and women do not marry - have you never read what God himself said to you:  'I am God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob?'  He is God not of the dead but of the living" (Matthew 22:23-30).

We have to keep looking for the spiritual question if we want spiritual answers.

- Henri J. M. Nouwen  

It has been a good couple of days of leave. Had fun cooking and was good to catch up with Faith, Sherrie and Luanne over dinner. Slept a lot more than I expected and had fun reading graphic novels and watching an old Star Trek movie. Still feel tired today but feels good to be back to work. 

Today, off to visit a family at Starship hospital. Never met them but many of us in church have been praying for them for many weeks now as they are friends of a church member. The young daughter in the family is very ill and the family does not know God the way I do. For me it is always tough IF questions arise as to WHY? It is hard to answer WHY in a way that is helpful and comforting if there is no context and acceptance of a loving God who showed His love via Christ's life, death and resurrection. 

Often to attempt an answer is not helpful but sometimes not to give an answer when asked (or a totally vague generic answer) does not help either ...

So this reminder from Nouwen is a strange comfort to me in my own personal journey as I regularly ponder the ways of God in a messed up world. A reminder for me to ask God to help me ask the right questions, that I may not just get the right answers to satisfy my intellectual struggles but answers that also that calm my emotions and bring peace to my soul. And with these answers hopefully insights to help others ask the right questions as well ....

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