Nouwen On Identity
"I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father." John 15:15
"We Are all blessed in our very creation, and this blessing never leaves us. Our challenge is to claim our 'original blessing' as children of the One who gave it to us. We may have been wounded by what is known as original sin, but we are healed by our original blessing. The original blessing, the unconditional love of God, was present in God's mind and heart long before our conception. It touches us from before our beginnings until after our deaths. It embraces us forever. Each of us is 'a blessed one.' That is our primary identity..." -Henri Houwen (From Fear to Love, Lenten Devotional, Thursday after Ash Wednesday)Nouwen's quote summarizes, in some ways, what I was reflecting on yesterday in my Ash Wednesday 2010 post. This identity was embrace during Lent is our true identity given to us out of God's love in our creation. Sin is, by implication, our failure to be ourselves. When we repent on Ash Wednesday we repent of our sin and we move forward in our true identity. But this blessed identity is not one of self-indulgence or streets of gold. It is the identity of bread. As Nouwen puts it, "like Jesus, we are also taken, blest, broken and given, because, like Jesus, we are beloved sons and daughters from our very beginning."