The Wounded Healer is a hope-filled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening and ineffective. In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry. 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. Emphasizing that which is in humanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others. Nouwen proceeds to develop his approach to ministry with an analysis of sufferings a suffering world, a suffering generation, a suffering person, and a suffering minister. It is his contention that ministers are called to recognize the sufferings of their time 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 role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering in the image of Christ. In other words, we heal from our own wounds. Filled with examples from everyday experience, The Wounded Healer is a thoughtful and insightful guide that will be welcomed by anyone engaged in the service of others.
'Even though I often give in to the many fears and warnings of my world, I still believe deeply that our few years on this earth are part of a much longer event that stretches out far beyond the boundaries of our birth and death. I think of it as a mission into time, a mission that is very exhilarating and even exciting, mostly because the One who sent me on the mission is waiting for me to come home and tell the story of what I have learned.' - Henri Nouwen at the time of his death in 1996
Henri Nouwen was one of the most popular spiritual writers in the world. Through more than fifty books he touched countless people with his compelling interpretation of Christian faith and the gospel. In part his impact came from his willingness to draw deeply on his own experience, inviting readers to share his joys, his anguish, and his spiritual journey. That journey led him from his home in Holland to America; from a series of prestigious academic posts to a Trappist monastery, to the poor of Latin America, and finally to Canada, where he found his final home in a L'Arche community devoted to the care of handicapped adults.