Spiritual Direction

Listening Deeply

There are times in our lives when we need to tell somebody else about how things are for us, without any expectation of the other person doing anything other than listen, and maybe help us avoid wandering off-topic, or asking us to notice something we have missed. It’s not always a need we are aware of - it can show up in various hidden ways, such as anger, frustration, loss of faith, or a longing for attention. Some people have a close friend or relative who will listen to them, others not; but it’s not always appropriate to tell friends or relatives about our deeper state of being. So who can we tell? Who will listen?

The church at large, and many people not associated with churches at all, are gradually rediscovering the value of a process called Spiritual Direction. There are several kinds of spiritual direction, and the kind that is referred to here involves listening deeply in the presence of God, however you understand God to be. A spiritual director of this sort does not in fact tell you what to do or believe, but rather directs your inner attention to aspects of what you have to say that you might have overlooked, without judging you, your words, or your journey through life.

The process of telling another person can somehow take the pressure out of a situation, or bring new insight into it, possibly changing it, with God’s help - and this happens surprisingly often!

TheWellSpring websiteoffers more detail on this topic.

Parkdale Church of Christ 2012-18 —A community of faith, hope and compassion.