Tag Archives: Henri Nouwen

Wash Over Me

Living Water, wash over me.

Flow through me.

Sustain me.

Fill me.

Let the sound of the flowing water drown out the loudness of the distractions that surround me.

 

Living Water, keep me afloat.

Calm me.

Refresh me.

Satisfy me.

Overflow and fill those around me.

 

Mountain Stream, Montreat, NC. Feb. 2009

I wrote this poem in 2001 while I was on a Christian women’s retreat that I used to go on for years (and years) in Montreat, North Carolina. That particular year’s retreat came at a time when I was struggling as a young mom to a young son with Asperger’s Syndrome. I was hurting and I was grieving.

During a quiet time that weekend, I made my way to a rock by a little mountain creek. I sat there breathing in the brisk February mountain air, enjoying the sounds of the water, crying out to God and listening to God and then allowing Him to wash over me with His peace, love and encouragement. This poem was born from that moment.

One of the things I learned from that weekend, was to stop and look at the things in life that may bring grief and hurt and ask “what is this telling me? what is God trying to teach me here?”

Don’t be afraid of those hurts and feelings. To sit with them.

Henri Nouwen said, “ God wants to touch you in a way that permanently fulfills your deepest need. It is important that you dare to stay with your pain and allow it to be there…The pain you suffer now is meant to put you in touch with the place where you most need healing, your very heart. The person who was able to touch that place has revealed to you your pearl of great price…the experience of being fully loved…No human being can heal that pain…Dare to stay with your pain, and trust in God’s promise to you.”

God promises to love us in our pain. Fully.

We all have deep hurts and needs in our lives. We all struggle. We all experience grief, fear, emptiness, desperation, and loneliness at times. Be careful not to run away or reach out to the wrong places to get those needs met. Go to the Source. Our empty places can only be filled by God, by the love of God, by the power in His Word. Our deepest need will never be met as long as we rely on outside things to fill us up.

Jesus, the Living Water, is the thing that will fill you, restore you, heal you, direct you, allow you to be fully loved, and give you peace and will, in turn, spill out of you and into the lives of others.

Are you willing to stay with your pain and then allow God to love you in it, and walk you through it to the other side?

I ask this of myself. I confess that there are times when I am better at letting God love me and wash over me. At times I find it really hard to sit with my pain, because, well, pain hurts. My tendency is to run—fast. But I have learned over the years, that the only way out, is through and I would rather go through my pain with Jesus than by myself.

“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love. For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.” ~Lamentations 3:31-33 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

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