An excerpt from Reaching Out, by Henry Nouwen
… I vividly remember the day on which a man who had been a student in one of my courses came back to the school and entered my room with the disarming remark: “I have no problems this time, no questions to ask you. I do not need counsel or advice, but I simply want to celebrate some time with you.” We sa on the ground facing each other and talked a little about what life had been for us in the last year, about work, our common friends, and about the restlessness of heart. Then slowly as the minutes passed by we became silent. Not an embarrassing silence but a silence small that could being us closer together than the many small and big events of the last year. We would hear a few cars pass and the noise of someone who was emptying a trash can somewhere. But that did no hurt. The silence which grew between us was warm, gentle and vibrant. Once in a whole we looked at each other with the beginning of a smile pushing away the last remnants of fear and suspicion. It seemed that while the silence grew deeper around us we because more and more aware of a presence embracing both of is. Then he said, “It is good to be here” and I said, “Yes, it is good to be here together again,” and after that we were silent again for a long period. And as a deep peace filled the empty space between us he said hesitantly, “When I look at you it is as if I am in the presence of Christ.” I did not feel startled, surprised or in need of protesting, but I could only say, “It is the Christ in you, who recognizes the Christ in me.” “Yes,” he said, “He indeed is in our midst,” and then he spoke the words which entered my soul as the most healing words I had heard in many years, “From now on, wherever you go, or wherever I go, all the ground between us will be holy ground.” And when he left I knew that he had revealed to me what community really means.