Tuesday, January 15, 2013

To Wait Open-Endedly

"To Wait Open-Endedly"
Henri Nouwen

To wait open-endedly
is an enormously radical attitude toward life
So is to trust that something will happen
to us that is far beyond our imaginings.
So, too, is giving up control over our future
and letting God define our life,
trusting that God molds us
according to God's love
and not according to our fear.

The spiritual life
is a life in which we wait,
actively present to the moment,
trusting that new things will happen to us,
new things that are far beyond
our own imagination, fantasy, or prediction.
That, indeed, is a very radical stance
toward life in a world preoccupied
with control.

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch priest and author.  One of my friends sent me this poem recently, which feels especially meaningful for me at this time.


  1. Amen to that. I always think it's not so much control that we need to give up (because we never really had it in the first place), but the idea or illusion of being in control. "Take no thought for the morrow" - how hard that is for us to do, and yet what a blessed relief it is.

    Have a good week, Ginnie. :)

  2. To Wait open-endedly...
    Thank you, Ginnie for these words.
    Sending love your way.
    I especially love the last part..The spiritual life...
    Thank you again. Be well and comforted, E.

  3. A wonderful poem, something to aspire to. x

  4. That poem offers wonderful advice. Now, if I can only follow it with faith. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Much love to you!

  5. Ah, yes. Mrs. Micawber is right. To give up the illusion that we ever were in control... Hugs!

  6. That is beautiful, and so true. Looking back, it was the situations that I tried to force, to control, that never worked out quite so well. To wait open-endedly is wonderful advice.

  7. Dear Ginnie,
    It has been too long since I visited you and I find that you have been through such a sad time. Please accept my deepest condolences on the loss of Gerrit. Everything that you wrote about him was filled with love and your courage as you looked after him was inspiring. The opportunity to love someone as you have done and continue to do is so precious. May your happy memories of your life together console you.

    I read that poem and wish that I could find the serenity that it speaks of. I know myself too well - waiting open-endedly seems an elusive goal!

    Sending you my love.


Thank you!