Beyond the Mirror

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Beyond the Mirror

Reflections on Life and Death

Henri Nouwen’s near fatal accident sparked a revelation. His transformative experience of unconditional love at the portal of death and his understanding of the events before and after his accident inspire us to embrace our vital connection to God.

After being hit by the rearview mirrow of a van while walking on an icy road, Nouwen found himself in a hospital on the brink of death. He sensed that this event was not an accident and that it might offer him something much more important than everyday life had yielded. Nouwen’s unexpected experience of peace, joy, and security in the face of his own mortality deepened his relationship with Jesus and freed him to see the trap of the addictive powers of human existence.

Nouwen shares his understanding of the interruptions in his life—the things that stopped him from proceeding with business as usual—as the powerful manifestations of God's teaching. Readers will be encouraged and heartened to reevaluate their own challenging circumstances to find the true message of divine love.

Reviews and endorsements

“This is not a book of easy answers as to why accidents happen. Instead, Nouwen’s story reveals God as one who will use these interruptions in life to show us that, being anchored in His love, we are free to escape the compulsions of this world.”
New Oxford Review


“The book is well worth reading for people who seek a deeper and richer glimpse into the mystery of the divine presence of God.”
Ashland Theological Journal


“As with Nouwen’s other works, vivid images, strong analogies, and keen reflection dominate. I commend the book as a gift that the busy preacher or academic might give oneself.”
Restoration Quarterly


“With his brutal self-scrutiny and honesty, Nouwen takes us through the interior meaning of his trip to ‘death’s portal,’ and gives us courage and hope for our own encounter someday.”
Church and Synagogue Library Association

Paperback / 96 pages
Dimensions: 5 1/8 x 7 1/2