Power Games

10 Sep

Henri NouwenBy serendipity, I received another version of the story I posted yesterday. It is titled “Power Games” and comes from Henri J. M. Nouwen.

Let me tell you a story (based in the tradition of desert spirituality) about John and Sandy…. We all have Johns and Sandys among us. One day John said to Sandy, “We’ve never had an argument. Let’s have an argument like other people have.”

Sandy asked, “But how can we start an argument?”

John answered, “It’s very simple. I take a brick and say, ‘It’s mine,’ and then you say, ‘No, it’s mine,’ and then we have an argument.”

So they sat down and John took a brick and said, “This brick is mine.”

Sandy looked gently at him and said, “Well, if it’s yours, take it.”

And so, they could not have an argument.

As long as we keep bricks in our hands and speak about mine and thine, our little power games gradually will escalate into big power games and our big power games will lead to hatred, violence and war. When we look at life from below, our fears and insecurities lead us to grab bricks wherever we can.

But when we dare to let go of our bricks, empty our hands, and raise them up to the One who is our true refuge and our true stronghold, our poverty opens us to receive power from above, power that heals, power that will be a true blessing for ourselves and for our world.

Source: Power, Powerlessness and Power


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