I have begun reading The Genesee Diary by Henri Nouwen. The thing that strikes me most about the book is its simplicity. It is a journal of his daily life. He lets us in on so many of his feelings, good and bad, frustrating and inspirational. It is striking in its honesty and in the way he expresses his feelings just like I would, not like the saint I sort of expected.
I struggle with the ordinariness of my daily existence. It is hard to comprehend that this routine life is pleasing to God or that this is how he created us to be. Well, maybe he intended for our existence to be more “whole”, not so full of messiness, but that is only a distant longing in reality.
What would my journal be like if I was writing in a way similar to Henri Nouwen?
This morning I got up and spent some time reflecting on Psalm 25.
Show me the path where I should walk, O LORD;
point out the right road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you. (vs 4,5)
I wonder if I put that into practice today. Did I listen for God’s direction? More likely, I just went about my day as it was programmed, without much thought – other than what to take for my lunch.
I try to pay some attention to the fact that my patients are loved and cared for by God every bit as much as I am.
God sends me one of my long time patients – a very simple woman. She tries hard to care for herself but is not very successful at it. Still, she does much better now than when we first met. Life has not been easy for her.
Then there is the guy with the really gross mouth. It is hard to see the “belovedness” with which God loves him.
Returning home there is supper to prepare. I am asked to feed and baby-sit my grandson. Somehow this task is more easily done – more palatable – at least until I have to go and change the very poopy diaper.
And my evening is spent tidying up the office. To tell the truth, I have misplaced a paper I need. After everything is checked through, without finding what I need, I do ask God for help. I feel like a child who has by their own fault left a job to the last minute so that they have to go to a parent for help. I guess God understands my dependence and likes me anyway. And there are the papers. I feel as if he has just taken care of me – as a father would his child.
And to wrap up my day, I am asked to help straighten hair for Sara. She is getting ready for her big trip to California over the Easter vacation – going on Calbreak with YFC. She will have fun.
What have I learned from my day? Looking back over it, it has been good. Mostly just ordinary and busy but there have been places where I have also seen God.
Now to bed. Sorry Fans – no time to scan the paper. I will try tomorrow. Tomorrow will be no less busy, no less long.
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
I trust in you, my God! (vs1)