23 May 2019
For the last ten years of his life and ministry, Henri Nouwen, a Dutch Roman Catholic priest and acclaimed spiritual writer, was chaplain at a L’Arche community in Canada. His last book was about Adam, a young man with several disabilities including an inability to speak.
As a result, Nouwen observes that the dominant characteristic of Adam’s life was the simple posture of waiting. Because he could hardly do anything for himself, he had to wait for others to attend to him.
He goes on to describe Adam as ‘a peacemaker’. As he says, ‘By his quiet presence, he always brought us again to a still place in ourselves and created a loving atmosphere in our home.’
‘While I tended to worry about what I did…, Adam was announcing to me that ‘being is more important than doing’. While I was preoccupied with the way I was talked about … Adam was quietly telling me that ‘God’s love is more important than the praise of people’.