“Those who do not run away from our pains but touch them with compassion bring healing and new strength. The paradox indeed is that the beginning of healing is in the solidarity with the pain.” – Henri Nouwen
Currently I’m reading Reaching Out, which is where this quote comes from. With pretty much anything that Nouwen writes, it has me thinking tons – about myself, my community, how I (want to) live and my faith.
So, why this quote for a FMF? I believe that all the talk and thinking about the future has somehow brought me to the realities of the present. This community – both the neighborhood and the people I live with – are great. Agreeing to live with “strangers” for an entire year in a city I’d never been to, there is plenty that could have gone wrong with that.
But it didn’t. I ended up in Houston with seven amazing (and also broken) individuals. Their amazing-ness didn’t hide the fact that each of us is broken (at least, not always). And moments of broken-ness didn’t (doesn’t) change the beauty of each one of us. In this space of shared beauty and broken-ness, grief and joy – a wonderful thing called community is being realized. I say “being realized” because as long as we keep living, and being present, our community will continue to change, adapt to our life circumstances and what is happening in the world around us (both in a global and local sense).
I would never be able to understand the goodness within me without sharing the pains with those around me. And I’m learning that vulnerability begets vulnerability begets authentic community living.