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[May 2020] The Life of The Beloved

by Sookee An, Communications Coordinator

Dear Centenary Family,

I have been asked to introduce myself to you as a new staff member, Communications Coordinator. I thought about giving you a quick summary of my professional background, but instead, I’ve decided to introduce myself through sharing my reflections on a book I recently read. I believe it will give you better insights of who I am.

The book is The Life of the Beloved, written by Henri J.M. Nouwen.

Nouwen talks about how one can live as the beloved child of God. Particularly, Nouwen gives clear instructions on what we can do to accept and remember the blessings that God pours out onto His chosen people. He suggests a 30 minute prayer of silence. During this prayer, Nouwen urges readers to dedicate their time to listen to the words of blessings and of love from God, not to fill it with their own words.

This concept of prayer is very new to me. It is different from the way I was taught to pray, which involves revealing my deepest thoughts to God, often with the words of requests, laments, or appreciations. Nouwen’s suggestion of silent prayer challenges me to make space in my mind to be filled with God’s words. Although I was nervous to try it for the first time, soon after I stopped my thoughts after my only request, “God, please bless me,” I was quickly poured with God’s words of love toward me, that I am His Beloved, that God loves me, that I am uniquely special to Him: ME!

His love was so overwhelming to a point of uncovering the deep depths of doubts I had for God’s love toward me. Growing up in a church, I always knew that God loved me, I sang the popular Sunday School song of “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so”, and I told others that God loves me. However, in the moment of hearing how I was loved by God during the prayer, God’s love toward me felt unreal, too good to be true. Even though I thought I always believed His love, I was still far from understanding the extent of how big His love is for me.

Hearing the words of God’s blessings for me seemed to have given me a wonderful sense of calmness and joy within me. It felt so good that I find myself praying the silence prayer everyday, especially when I feel drained. I hope that, through the daily silent prayer of being reminded of God’s love for me, one day, I will truly believe and accept His love. I pray that I can receive His love to not hoard for myself but to share with others.

I am excited to serve Centenary as the Communications Coordinator. I intend to follow the same mission of the United Methodist Communications. Please keep me in your prayer so that I can continue to keep the mission at the core of my heart.

Communicating all the good we can,

in all the ways we can,

to all the people we can,

in all the places we can.

Thank you for reading my long-winded introduction. If you are still curious about my professional background, email me at I would be happy to meet with you over a cup of coffee and share my CV.

All the best,

Sookee An

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