The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society by Henri J. M. Nouwen, Softcover

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In this hope filled and profoundly simple book, Henri Nouwen offers a radically fresh interpretation of how we can best serve others.  Here he inspires devoted men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but who have found some traditional practices of outreach alienating and ineffective.  Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature.  According to Nouwen, ministers are called to identify the suffering in their own hearts and make that recognition the starting point of their service.  For Nouwen, ministers must be willing to go beyond their professional, somewhat aloof, roles and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering as those whom they serve.  In other words, we heal from our wounds.