Sometimes it’s very apparent what we’re feeling. You’re separated from a loved one and you feel a sense of longing; your heart tells you what you’re feeling, and you know it’s true. Or your body tells you you’re hungry when you haven’t eaten in a while.
But other times, our feelings aren’t so apparent.
I’ve had a good summer, with some wonderful experiences and some meaningful experiences. I’ve traveled, I’ve laughed with good friends, I enjoyed the CAVS victory, I’ve soaked up the sun. I’ve set aside Wednesdays for writing, reading and study. I’ve worked hard, done some planning for the program year in church, and sat with families in moments of grief.
What I haven’t done much of is sit and listen to “the still small voice within.” What I haven’t done much is pray. I haven’t taken the time for reflection, for quiet.
I’m spending this week at the Collegeville Institute in Minnesota at a workshop entitled, “A Spiritual Practice of Writing.” Each morning we are given a series of what are called “writing prompts”, each of which are questions or open-ended sentences which launch us into ten minutes of non-stop writing.
Afternoons are free for us to engage in our own writing projects. We’re also encouraged to do whatever else refreshes our spirits: walk, kayak, watch a potter at work, read, nap, converse with one another.
The writing prompts open up more than my pen. They open up my spirit and make me realize what I’ve been missing. Sometimes you don’t know you’re thirsty until you’re given a pitcher of cool water, and the glass is placed right in front of you. I wrote this in our session this morning: “The water I most crave is the water that will nourish my inner well, and replenish it, and connect me to the source of it…and the source of all life and love.” I’m so grateful to have realized how parched I’d become.
*I took this picture this afternoon on a hike around Lake Sagatagan.