I LOVE REMBRANDT’S painting The Return of the Prodigal Son. The father holds his child, touches his child, and says, “You are my beloved. I’m not going to ask you any questions. Wherever you have gone, whatever you have done, and whatever people say about you, you’re my beloved. I hold you safe in my embrace. You can come home to me whose name is Compassionate, whose name is Love.”
If we keep that in mind, we can deal with an enormous amount of success as well as an enormous amount of failure without losing our identity, because our identity is that we are the beloved. Long before our father and mother, our brothers and sisters, our teachers, our church, or anyone else touched us in a loving or a wounding way—long before we were rejected by some person or praised by somebody else—that voice was there. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). That love was there before we were born and will be there after we die.
– Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab, Series Editor
A Spirituality of Living
“From pages 25-26 of A Spirituality of Living by
Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab, Series Editor. Copyright
© 2011 The Henri Nouwen Legacy Trust. All rights reserved. Used
by permission of Upper Room Books.” http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
What does it mean to have your identity based on God’s love for you? Share your thoughts.
I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:18-19, NRSV
This Week: pray for the mind of Christ. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
Did You Know?
In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers. Call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center website.
This week we remember: Mary Magdalene (July 22).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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