Adam: God’s Beloved
DLT, 9780232522464, £10.99
A short but profound meditation on the nature of disability. Adam was Nouwen’s friend, companion and teacher for over 9 years until his death in his early thirties. From birth Adam suffered from daily seizures, he could not communicate verbally, he was wheelchair bound and very limited in his activities. Nouwen, living with him in the L’Arche community in Can…ada, was the one who looked after Adam’s daily needs. He found it very difficult concentrating on all the practicalities and it took him some months to realise how much Adam, in his quiet way, was giving back. It took him longer to appreciate that Adam was more focussed on the really important aspects of living than he could ever be. And it took even longer for him to understand that Adam’s perspective on the world was far more in tune with Jesus’s self-giving than his work as a priest. In effect Nouwen seems to be pointing out that the true saints might be those whose differing abilities from our own give them a more attentive perspective on the true essentials of life, a perspective that puts them in close touch with the divine. They can, if we honour them, be our teachers also.
BRF, 9780857460110, £6.99
Take This Bread
Canterbury Press, 9781848252141, £12.99
This is a powerful, life-changing and life-affirming book which challenges our preconceptions of what it means to be a loving church community.