Day 26 – Can You Drink the Cup? – Henri Nouwen

Day 26

Can You Drink the Cup?

Henri Nouwen

Many came together for the occasion in the Dayspring Chapel. Bill held the book and lifted it up for all to see. It was a beautifully colored ring binder with many artistically decorated pages. Although it was Bill’s book, it was the work of many people.

Then we blessed the book and Bill, who held it. I prayed that this book might help Bill let many people know what a beautiful man he is and what a good life he was living. I also prayed that Bill would remember all the moments of his life his joys as well as his sorrows-with a grateful heart.

While I prayed tears started to flow from Bill’s eyes. When I finished he threw his arms around me and cried loudly. His tears fell on my shoulder while everyone in the circle looked at us with a deep understanding of what was happening. Bill’s life had been lifted up for all to see, and he had been able to say it was a life to be grateful for.

Now Bill takes his Life Story Book with him on his trips. He shows it to people as a man who believes his life is not something to be ashamed of. To the contrary, it is a gift for others.

The cup of sorrow and joy, when lifted for others to see and celebrate, becomes a cup to life. It is so easy for us to live truncated lives because of hard things that have happened in our past, which we prefer not to remember. Often the burdens of our past seem too heavy for us to carry alone. Shame and guilt make us hide part of ourselves and thus make us live half lives.

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