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I Want to Live With Them

03 Jan

“More and more, the desire grows in me simply to walk around, greet people, enter their homes, sit on their doorsteps, play ball, throw water, and be known as someone who wants to live with them. It is a privilege to have the time to practice this simple ministry of presence. Still, it is not as simple as it seems. My own desire to be useful, to do something significant, or to be part of some impressive project is so strong that soon my time is taken up by meetings, conferences, study groups, and workshops that prevent me from walking the streets. It is difficult not to have plans, not to organize people around an urgent cause, and not to feel that you are working directly for social progress. But I wonder more and more if the first thing shouldn’t be to know people by name, to eat and drink with them, to listen to their stories and tell your own, and to let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs that you do not simply like them, but truly love them.” — Henri Nouwen

I want to live with the people of Tegucigalpa. I want to know the names of my neighbors and to share meals with them. I want to listen to their stories and tell them mine. And yes, I do want to “let them know with words, handshakes, and hugs” that I do not just like them, but truly love them. When they ask me why, I will tell them of the love of God that transformed my life and can transform theirs.

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2011 in Honduras, Reflections

 

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