08 May 2012

show what you’ve been shown

Today is the feast of Julian of Norwich.  On this night in 1373, she had an intense experience—she was actually close to death.  Her book Showings (or Revelations) of Divine Love is a recounting of the experience, after mulling over it for about twenty years.  What a contrast with us today!  Too often, we feel like we have to go online with whatever random thought occurs to us, and if we’re 30 seconds behind someone else, we feel slighted!

At the same time, we may feel like we have nothing meaningful to share.  Henri Nouwen once wrote, “Often we think that we do not know enough to be able to teach others…  But when we have the courage to share generously with others all that we know, whenever they ask for it, we soon discover that we know a lot more than we thought.  It is only by giving generously from the well of our knowledge that we discover how deep that well is.”

Do we need to reflect on something for two decades before speaking of it?  Probably not!  But we can learn the balancing act that is the discipline of showing what we’ve been shown. 

(The image is from St. Julian’s Church.)

No comments: