Hidden and Fragile by Henri Nouwen: Reading and Meditation

June 14, 2020  • Todd Breyfogle

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Hidden and Fragile, Henri Nouwen


There is a cane of my sprawling rose bush, and it seems to grow by inches a day these last few days. I can’t tell if it’s longer from morning to night, but morning by morning I can see its extended reach outward, upward, stretching with miraculous energy. That said, I can never actually see it grow; I see only the effects of its growth. The rest is hidden. I only see the hidden when I pay attention.

Like the cane of the rose, our growth too is often small, often imperceptible. It happens week by week, day by day…sometimes, perhaps, moment by moment. What does it mean to choose life when it is hidden? What, or who, is small, begging for constant care and protection? What do we choose when we attend to the fragile and the hidden?

Todd Breyfogle, Denver, Colorado

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