Day 24 – Can You Drink the Cup? – Henri Nouwen

Day 24

Can You Drink the Cup?

Henri Nouwen

Chapter 6

We lift the cups of our lives to bring life to each other.

In the Daybreak community, celebration is an essential part of our life together. We celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, we celebrate those who arrive and those who depart, we celebrate birth and death, we celebrate commitments made and commitments renewed.

In our community there are many parties. Parties are usually happy events, during which we eat and drink, sing and dance, give speeches, talk and laugh a lot. But a celebration is something more than just than a party. A celebration is an occasion to lift up each other’s lives-whether in a joyful or a sorrowful moment-and deepen our bonds with each other.

To celebrate life is to raise up life, make it visible to each other, affirm it in its concreteness, and be grateful for it.

One very moving celebration I remember was that of Bill’s Life Story Book. A Life Story Book is a collection of photographs, stories, and letters put together as a sort of biography. When Bill came to Daybreak as a sixteen-year-old, he brought few memories with him. He had had a very troublesome childhood and hardly any consistent experiences of love and friendship. His past was so broken, so painful, and so lonely that he had chosen to forget it. He was a man without a history.

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