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– by Blair Buckley 

             I realize that this post is kind of a continuation of my last post, but I wanted to share this Henri Nouwen quote. It is one many of you might be familiar with. It comes from Nouwen’s famous book The Wounded Healer but I discovered it when it was sent to me as one of the daily “Bread for the Journey” meditations from the Henri Nouwen Society [On a side note, if you are a Henri Nouwen fan as I am, just plug in your email address to the Henri Nouwen Society at www.henrinouwen.org to get these daily reflections].  

Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. The main question is not “How can we hide our wounds?” so we don’t have to be embarrassed, but “How can we put our woundedness in the service of others?” When our wounds cease to be a source of shame, and become a source of healing, we have become wounded healers. – Henri Nouwen

            I stumbled across this meditation because I have been thinking about sickness, immortality and vulnerability lately (cheery, I know 🙂, but I have been thinking about other things, as well ) .  I believe that in many ways the YAV experience forces us to become more in touch with our own vulnerability and limitations. We realize that there are many situations we cannot fix, and that we cannot change the world overnight as we hope to.  I witnessed during my YAV year that human woundedness expresses itself in many different ways.  For some, woundedness takes form in the feelings of isolation and depression from having lived in poverty and destitution. Perhaps some of us even have our own wounds from our YAV experience. According to this reflection, we need not be ashamed of these or any of our other wounds. The question, then, is how can we put our woundedness in the service and ministry to others now—wherever God may be calling us in post-YAV life?