Saturday, September 27, 2014

the everlasting arms

"Henri Nouwen was fascinated by trapeze artists. He befriended a troupe of trapezists called the Flying Rodleighs. Once he asked the chief of the Flying Rodleighs how he managed to fly through the air and still catch on to the other guy on the swing. The answer?

The secret is that the flyer does nothing and the catcher does everything. When I fly to Joe, I have simply to stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me and pull me safely over the apron behind the catchbar...The worst thing the flyer can do is to try to catch the catcher. I am not supposed to catch Joe. It's Joe's task to catch me. If I grabbed Joe's wrists, I might break them, or he might break mine, and that would be the end for both of us. A flyer must fly, and a catcher must catch, and the flyer must trust, with outstretched arms, that his catcher will be there for him.

These images gave new depth to Nouwen's understanding of what Jesus meant in the hour of his death when he said, 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.'"

                                             -  Servants, Misfits, and Martyrs, by James C. Howell

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