In the final year before his death in 1996, Henri Nouwen began to write an account of the death of his friend Adam, a severely handicapped young man from the L'Arche Daybreak Community. In the story of Adam he found a way to describe his own understanding of the Gospel message. Adam could not speak or even move without assistance. Gripped by frequent seizures, he spent his life in obscurity. And yet, for Nouwen, he became "my friend, my teacher, and my guide." It was Adam who led Nouwen to a new understanding of his faith and what it means to be Beloved of God.
Through this story, Nouwen found a new way to tell God's story and the story of all of us human creatures, broken and yet beloved, who live in a world charged and alive with the mystery of God's love. Completed only weeks before Nouwen's own death, Adam became a final, precious gift, a fitting reflection of his own message and legacy.