Turn My Mourning Into Dancing by Henri Nouwen

“The unpleasant things, the hard moments, the unexpected setbacks carry more potential then we usually realize.”

The outlandish idea that we can find joy in our suffering is probably one of the strangest aspects found in Christianity, but it is in fact one of our core tenets. In this short little book, Henri Nouwen gives us a few clues that could lead us to joyous suffering. 

We are not meant to go at it alone. We are made for community. Our joys and sufferings ought to be experienced with others, not in isolation. We will never find a perfectly safe place on this side of heaven, but with others our love can grow. “When our love grows from God’s love we no longer divide people into those who deserve it and those who don’t.”

Of the works of Nouwen I have read, this one was not a favorite. Clearly the subject of suffering will always be pain (pun intended), but I will continue to search for wise words on the joys of suffering. Though I would probably suggest another book, Nouwen’s brevity makes this book an easy read over a good weekend thus not a waste of time.