"When we think about the people who have given us hope and have increased the strength of our soul, we might discover that they were not the advice givers, warners or moralists, but the few who were able to articulate in words and actions the human condition in which we participate and who encouraged us to face the realities of life. Preachers who reduce mysteries to problems and offer Band-Aid-type solutions are depressing because they avoid the compassionate solidarity out of which healing comes forth. But Tolstoy's description of the complex emotions of Anna Karenina, driving her to suicide, and Graham Greene's presentation of the burned out case of the Belgian architect Querry, whose search for meaning leads him to his death in the African jungle, can give us a new sense of hope. Not because of any solution they offered but because of the courage to enter so deeply into human suffering and speak from there. Neither Kierkegaard nor Satre nor Camus nor Hammarskjold nor Solzhenitsyn has offered solutions, but many who read their words find new strength to pursue their own personal search. Those who do not run away from our pains but touch them with compassion bring healing and new strength. The paradox indeed is that the beginning of healing is in the solidarity with the pain." (emphasis mine)


  1. I'm loving this quote this morning. Thanks, Luke.

  2. "the beginning of healing is in the solidarity with the pain"


  3. Sweet quote! After I finish reading Kelly's "A Testament of Devotion," I will have to read one one Nouwen's books.

    -Blake Osborn