Reading the Signs of Daily Life
By Henri Nouwen (HarperOne, 2013)
The Facts: The final volume of Henri Nouwen's spiritual trilogy explores four avenues of discernment. The first, "read the way forward" (reading books and other writings), and the third, "pay attention to people in your path," are more straightforward. It's the second (read the book of nature) and the fourth (discern the signs of the times) that will likely stretch readers. Even those who do not agree with Nouwen will benefit from hearing from his insights in this book. In the last section of the book, Nouwen gives his thoughts on discerning questions of vocation, presence, identity, and time.
The Slant: This book is classic Nouwen: deep, wise, and honest. He gives multiple examples of reading the signs of daily life in his own experience. One rather powerful display of transparency: "I found myself speaking to thousands of people about humility and at the same time wondering what they were ...1