Daybreak, Henri Nouwen, and Me Pt 7

This is part 7 of 7 of a sermon given 4/11/15 at Westminster Church in New Brighton, PA. In it, I share about my recent trip to L’Arche Daybreak in Canada to research author Henri Nouwen. The sermon can be heard on itunes or at

The only way through is to really trust God. You are loved so much that Jesus gave his life for you. You are the beloved. This is the truth that Henri Nouwen seemed to come back to again and again in his life and his writing.

Henri had a wonderful way of talking about trusting God. One year while on Sabbatical in Germany Henri went to the circus. There, he was captivated by the Flying Rodleighs on the trapeze bars. He saw them several times and eventually got to meet them. At one point later on Henri even tried the trapeze bars himself, with safety equipment, of course.

Henri asked the Flying Roleighs about the trapeze act. They told him about the discipline it takes to work together like that. But he also learned that while everybody thinks that the important person is the flyer, in reality the most important person is the catcher. The flyer has to fly and then put their arms out and trust that the catcher is going to catch them. If the flyer does not trust the catcher than the flyer will try to grab the catcher and will end up falling. The flyer has to keep their arms straight and really trust the catcher.

Henri used to say that God is the catcher in our lives. That we can trust God. We can fly in our lives and know that God will keep us from falling. One of the hardest areas to trust God is in being ourselves around other people. It takes so much weakness and vulnerability. It can be so messy. It requires courage to trust God like that. And there is no harder place to trust God as the catcher than in being comfortable with ourselves and giving ourselves to others in relationship. But life is so much sweeter when we fly. Trust God and try to find God in the places where God has the most room to work—in our weaknesses and in our relationships with each other.

I am continuing to process my trip to Daybreak, but I am already noticing a few practical changes. I am trying to live a little more in the moment. I am trying to feel less busy. I am trying to be myself and be comfortable with who I am—weaknesses and all. And I am trying to develop deeper community and intimacy in my family and my relationships. What might God be calling you to do?


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