“May all your expectations be frustrated, May all your plans be thwarted, May all your desires be withered into nothingness, that you may experience the powerlessness and poverty of a child and sing and dance in the love of God the Father, the Son and the Spirit.” – blessing to Henri Noewen
I love this particular blessing. It challenges me to learn what it is to rejoice in suffering, to let go of my perceptions of control and order and to offer up those longings for symmetry and sense to the wisdom of the Father, who sees more, who loves more who understands me better than I will ever know myself. To experience powerlessness and maintain joy in my weakness; to know frustration and still be able to utter praise; to fade into the background of nothingness and know the awesome blessings of humility.
I am learning or rather repeating such lessons these days.
“My own experience is something like this. I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity today, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline in the newspapers that threatens us all with destruction, send this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first I am overwhelmed, and all my little happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly and reluctantly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to posses my heart, that my true good is in another world and my only real treasure is Christ. And perhaps, by God’s grace I succeed, and for a day or two become a creature consciously dependant on God and drawing its strength from the right sources. But the moment the threat is withdrawn, my whole nature leaps back to the toys….Thus the terrible necessity of tribulation is only too clear. God has had me but for forty-eight hours and then only by dint of taking everything else away from me.”