The Flyer and the Catcher

The Flyer and the Catcher

“The Flyer and the Catcher enter the circus ring and greet the audience with smiles and movements that cause their wide silver capes to swirl about them. They pull themselves up into the large net and start to climb rope ladders to positions high up in the big tent. As the Flyer swings away from the pedestal board, she somersaults and turns freely in the air, only to be safely grasped by the Catcher.

As a Flyer, I must have complete trust in my Catcher…He must be there for me with split-second precision and grab me out of the air as I come to him…The secret is that the Flyer does nothing and the Catcher does everything. When I fly, I simply stretch out my arms and hands and wait for him to catch me.

The worst thing the Flyer can do is to try to catch the Catcher. If I grab the Catcher’s wrists, I might break them, or he might break mine, and that would be the end of both of us. A Flyer must fly, and a Catcher must catch, and the Flyer must trust with outstretched arms, that her Catcher will be there for her.”

(Henri Nouwen in Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith. Pages 148-149.)

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