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Letter from God

February 27, 2013

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For Lent this year, one of my commitments has been to join a book study at church on two of Henri Nouwen’s books, Life of the Beloved and The Inner Voice of Love.  These books were written at different times for different purposes.  The Inner Voice of Love, my favorite of the two, was written during one of Nouwen’s darkest times in his life, when he struggled with depression and suffered from the
loss of a deep personal relationship.  He only decided to publish the book years after it was written, and even then, it was published posthumously.  The format of the book was short chapters, not necessarily meant to be read in order and not read more than one at a time.    He writes in second person, as if God was personally talking to Nouwen, helping him navigate away from the need of others’ love and acceptance, instead realizing that God’s love is enough.

The pastor who is leading our group gave us an assignment for our meeting this week, in addition to reading part of Life of the Beloved.  We were to write ourselves a letter as if it was God writing to us.  What words do we need to hear?  How do we need to be reassured?

I sat down yesterday to put the little down for a nap–not a short process for an almost 4 year old who thinks he doesn’t need naps.  I had my Bible, my books, and my journal with me and I settled in for the duration.  I wrote my letter from God.

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My child, you run around, chasing things that mimic important.  You are full of to-do lists, schedules, and management techniques.  All of those bring control, or so you think.

Today, let go.  Stop striving.  Sit for a bit, just to know you are mine.  Don’t worry about the words for prayer-do the rocks and mountains sing out in joy without words?  Sit and know you are mine.

I love you from the moment you pull yourself from bed to the moment you collapse in it at night.  I love you while you sleep and when you wake up to get a little one back to bed.  I am with you all the moments in between, even though you often fail to notice I am there.  I am speaking to you in the subtle sunrise and the cloud formations, in the song of the robins, in a child’s hug, in a stranger’s face, in the wrinkles you see in the mirror.  I am there.  All that is necessary is for you to notice–for you to be thankful.

You are my beloved child.  Claim that promise.  Experience my love.  Let it wash over you like warm water–don’t worry if it covers your face.  With my love, you can breathe, in ways you never knew possible.  Let my love free you from your fear and doubts.  Let my love free you to love others more fully, to love without fear of their rejection, to forgive however they may wrong you.

My love does not bind you, it frees you from all that constrains.  You are my beloved.  That is always enough.  You are enough.

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