Speaking about the Sun | a blog from Jenoa

Speaking about the Sun

“Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.”

Henri Nouwen, Here and Now


Jen is a wife, mother, and minister living in Charlottesville, Virginia

I work primarily with college students who attend UVA. I love homemaking, crafting, traveling, and thrift shopping.

My favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Out for breakfast, a walk, a trip to Circa Vintage or Goodwill, a nap, then hosting friends over for dinner. Making Alison Roman’s Baked Ziti, of course! You can bring the bread and wine 🙂

Favorite authors or writers?

Hard to say! But here are some that come to mine currently: Henri Nouwen, (our daughter’s name and this blog are both inspied by him!) Bill Bryson, all the people over at Mbird.com, Marlee Grace, Tsh Oxenrieder, Katherine May, Emily Oster, and more….

“Joy is contagious, just as sorrow is. I have a friend who radiates joy, not because his life is easy, but because he habitually recognizes God’s presence in the midst of all human suffering, his own as well as others’. Wherever he goes, whomever he meets, he is able to see and hear something beautiful, something for which to be grateful. He doesn’t deny the great sorrow that surrounds him nor is he blind or deaf to the agonizing sights and sounds of his fellow human beings, but his spirit gravitates toward the light in the darkness and the prayers in the midst of the cries of despair. His eyes are gentle; his voice is soft. There is nothing sentimental about him. He is a realist, but his deep faith allows him to know that hope is more real than despair, faith more real than distrust, and love more real than fear. It is this spiritual realism that makes him such a joyful man. Whenever I meet him, I am tempted to draw his attention to the wars between nations, the starvation among children, the corruption in politics, and the deceit among people, thus trying to impress him with the ultimate brokenness of the human race. But every time I try something like this, he looks at me with his gentle and compassionate eyes and says: “I saw two children sharing their bread with one another, and I heard a woman say ‘thank you’ and smile when someone covered her with a blanket. These simple for people gave me new courage to live my life. My friend’s joy is contagious. The more I am with him, the more I catch glimpses of the sun shining through the clouds. Yes, I know there is a sun, even though the skies are covered with clouds. While my friend always spoke about the sun, I kept speaking about the clouds, until one day I realized that it was the sun that allowed me to see the clouds. Those who keep speaking about the sun while walking under a cloudy sky are messengers of hope, the true saints of our day.”

Henri Nouwen, Here and Now

“We laughed, we sang,
    we couldn’t believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations—
    “God was wonderful to them!”
God was wonderful to us;
    we are one happy people.” Psalm 126