Monday, July 16, 2012

Brokenness: The Place Where Peace Is Found

‎"Where is peace to be found? The answer is clear. In weakness. First of all, in our own weakness, in those places of our hearts where we feel most broken, most insecure, most in agony, most afraid. Why there? Because there our familiar ways of controlling our world are being stripped away; there we are called to let go from doing much, thinking much, and relying on our self-sufficiency. Right there where we are weakest, the peace which is not of this world is hidden." ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen
If you're like me and almost every person on this planet, we can find it very difficult to look at our own brokenness, woundedness, and insecurities. We often steer clear from them with alcohol, drugs, sex, or perhaps keeping furiously busy in our work or social lives. Yet here Nouwen, the late Catholic priest, writes that in order to find peace we must take a good hard look at ourselves and even embrace our brokenness. He notes that we most often like to be in control of things, thinking our way through things and relying on ourselves. But our weaknesses strip away those things. And as devastating as that can feel, underneath all of the walls we have put up in order to protect ourselves or our image, there lies true peace.

The next time that we feel weak or broken or needy, let's sit with it for a few minutes rather than bolt out the door. We need to embrace every part of ourselves.

Mark Andrew Alward