Henri Nouwen said:
“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the ‘Beloved.’ Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”
As much as I want to, I don’t think I will read this quotation in my classes. I think that the specific students to whom I want to give it would only feel a greater burden of guilt because they can’t FEEL Beloved. But it shows me more deeply how the work we need to do, no matter the physical vocation, is to find ways to show people this truth: You are Beloved. To paraphrase I Corinthians 13: If you are a brilliant intellectual or a gifted teacher, but have not love, you are a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. As I strive to improve my skills and knowledge base as an educator, I need to keep this always in my heart.
1. I am Beloved. You are Beloved.
2. Working together. Supportive colleagues.
4. Watching a small boy prepare for his dad’s birthday party.
5. Eating ugali. I don’t know why I don’t make it more often. (It’s a thick corn-meal mush, sort of like polenta.)
May we walk in Beauty, knowing we are Beloved.