Nonjudgmental presence ...

The practice of "nonjudgmental presence" explained beautifully here by Henri Nouwen has changed our family dynamic more than almost any other practice.

Parents of adult children ... it is no longer our job to "fix" our children (it never was) ...

It is no longer our job to tell our children how to live (it never was) ...

It is no longer our job to constantly evaluate our children's lives (it never was) ...

It is our job, however, to ponder our grown children's beauty, to love them unconditionally, to be amazed at God working in their lives, to offer them the fullness of our blessing ...

What might our lives begin to look like if we simply offered others our nonjudgmental presence?

I dare you to try it ... 

Listen to how Nouwen describes it:

"To the degree that we accept that through Christ we ourselves have been reconciled with God we can be messengers of reconciliation for others.

Essential to the work of reconciliation is a nonjudgmental presence.

We are not sent to the world to judge, to condemn, to evaluate, to classify, or to label.

When we walk around as if we have to make up our mind about people and tell them what is wrong with them and how they should change, we will only create more division.

Jesus says it clearly: 'Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge; ... do not condemn; ... forgive' (Luke 6:36-37).

In a world that constantly asks us to make up our minds about other people, a nonjudgmental presence seems nearly impossible.

But it is one of the most beautiful fruits of a deep spiritual life and will be easily recognized by those who long for reconciliation."

(Henri Nouwen)

Tags: Called to Community, Living Hospitably, Celebration, Mentoring