1.26.2010

nouwen on juxtaposition

"Through mass media he is confronted with the most paradoxical human experiences. He is confronted not only with the most elaborate and expensive attempts to save the life of one man by heart transplantation, but also with the powerlessness of the world to help when thousands of people die from lack of food.

He is confronted not only with man's ability to travel rapidly to another planet, but also with his hopeless impotence to end a senseless war on this planet. He is confronted not only with high-level discussions about human rights and Christian morality, but also with torture chambers in Brazil, Greece, and Vietnam.

He is confronted not only with incredible ingenuity that can build dams, change riverbeds and create fertile new lands, but also with earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes that can ruin in one hour more than man can build in a generation.

A man confronted with all this and trying to make sense of it cannot possibly deceive himself with one idea, concept, or thought system which could bring these contrasting images into one consistent outlook on life."

--Henri J. Nouwen "The Wounded Healer"

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