nouwen (again)

"The paradox of the Christian community is that people are gathered together in voluntary displacement. The togetherness of those who form a Christian community is being-gathered-in-displacement. According to Webster's dictionary, discplacement means "to move or to shift from the ordinary or proper place." This becomes a telling definition when we realize the extent to which we are preoccupied with adapting ourselves to the prevalent norms and values of our milieu...

...In voluntary discplacement, we cast off the illusion of 'having it together' and thus begin to experience our true condition, which is that we, like everyone else, are pilgrims on the way, sinners in need of grace. Through voluntary displacement, we counteract the tendency to become settled in a false comfort and to forget the fundamentally unsettled position that we share with all people. Voluntary displacement leads us to the existential recognition of our inner brokenness and thus brings us to a deeper solidarity with the brokenness of our fellow human beings. Community, as the place of compassion, therefore always requires displacement. The Greek word for church, ekklesia--from ek=out, and kaleo=call--indicates that, as a Christian community, we are people who together are called out of our familiar places to unknown territories, out of our ordinary and proper places to the places where people hurt and where we can experience with them our common human brokenness and our common need for healing."

more on healing from nouwen another time. anyone else long for a community like this...?

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