'When I think about my life and my work, I think about it more as a way of being present to people with all I have. I have always tried to respond as honestly as I possibly could to the needs and concerns of the people who became part of my life, and I have tried to respond with whatever my own life has taught me.
Jesus' invitation to 'lay down my life for others' has always meant more to me than any physical martyrdom. I have always heard these words as an invitation to make my own life struggles, my doubts, my hopes, my fears and my joys, my pains, and my moments of ecstasy available to others as a source of consolation and healing. To witness for Christ means to me to witness for Him with what I have seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears and touched with my own hands.'
Henri JM Nouwen, Love, Henri, p.74.