GIVEAWAY and Excerpt: Turn My Mourning Into Dancing
Welcome to the Blog Blitz for Turn My Mourning Into Dancing by Henri Nouwen, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!
ABOUT THE BOOKTitle: Turn My Mourning Into Dancing
Joining in the Larger Dance
Mourning makes us poor; it powerfully reminds us of our smallness. But it is precisely here, in that pain or poverty or awkwardness, that the Dancer invites us to rise up and take the first steps. For in our suffering, not apart from it, Jesus enters our sadness, takes us by the hand, pulls us gently up to stand, and invites us to dance. We find the way to pray, as the psalmist did, “You have turned my mourning into dancing” (Ps. 30:11), because at the center of our grief we find the grace of God.
And as we dance, we realize that we don’t have to stay on the little spot of our grief but can step beyond it. We stop centering our lives on ourselves. We pull others along with us and invite them into the larger dance. We learn to make room for others— and the Gracious Other in our midst. And when we become present to God and God’s people, we find our lives richer. We come to know that all the world is our dance floor. Our step grows lighter because God has called out others to dance as well.
A friend wrote me a letter to recount his discovery. He had decided to spend the week following Christmas with his father, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. One morning, when he met his father at the day program in which he takes part, he found him very anxious and agitated. His father was worrying that his own mother, who had died long before my friend was born, needed his help. The worries were clearly an expression of a deep anguish that he could not express directly.
My friend took his father for a drive for more than an hour through the countryside. Very few words were spoken between them, but my friend noticed how his father’s anxiety diminished, and he became more relaxed. After not speaking for nearly an hour, the father turned, looked directly at his son, and said, “Well, we haven’t had such a good visit in a long time.” The son laughed and realized that his father was right. Anguish had become peace; loss had become gain. Even the silence between them held healing. So much of our movement through suffering has to do with such unexpected moments. Moments that come as gifts amid our waiting or struggling. Moments that often have much to do with the people God puts in our path.
We do not, then, attempt our movement from our little lives into God’s larger grace by simple resolve or lonely effort. When our needs lead us to grab desperately for a place, when our unhealed wounds determine the atmosphere around us, we become anxious. But then we let our hurt remind us of our need for healing. As we dance and walk forward, grace provides the ground on which our steps fall. Prayer puts us in touch with the God of the Dance. We look beyond our experience of sadness or loss by learning to receive an all-embracing love, a love that meets us in everyday moments.
Taken from “Turn My Mourning into Dancing: Finding Hope During Hard Times” by Henri Nouwen. Copyright 2001 Estate of Henri Nouwen. Preface Copyright 2001 Timothy Jones. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson Publishing. www.thomasnelson.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
(1) winner will receive two print copies of Turn My Mourning into Dancing (one to keep, one to give!)!
Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight April 26, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on May 3, 2022. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.
Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.
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