I LOVE REMBRANDT’S painting The Return of the Prodigal Son. The father holds his child, touches his child, and says, “You are my beloved. I’m not going to ask you any questions. Wherever you have gone, whatever you have done, and whatever people say about you, you’re my beloved. I hold you safe in my embrace. You can come home to me whose name is Compassionate, whose name is Love.”
If we keep that in mind, we can deal with an enormous amount of success as well as an enormous amount of failure without losing our identity, because our identity is that we are the beloved. Long berfore our father and mother, our brothers and sisters, our teachers, our church, or anyone else touched us in a loving or a wounding way—long before we were rejected by some person or praised by somebody else—that voice was there. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). That love was there before we were born and will be there after we die.
- Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Living
“From pages 25-26 of A Spirituality of Living by
Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab, Series Editor. Copyright
© 2011 The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used
by permission.” http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
In prayer, remember how much God loves you. Share your thoughts.
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates….”
Genesis 15:18, NRSV
This Week: pray for someone you find difficult to love. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.
Did You Know?
Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.
This week we remember Jacinta Marto, Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos (February 20).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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