With years of spiritual wrestling and an MDiv from Earlham School of Religion, my heart’s desire has been to help people find a life-giving faith that sustains them in good times and bad and brings a flowering of love and joy. I have tried to do so in the various things I have done over the years—as chaplain in an oncology medical practice, spiritual director, teacher with School of the Spirit Ministry’s program On Being a Spiritual Nurturer, and member of the Religious Society of Friends. The same desire motivates this blog.
Historically Quakers took a time of personal “retirement” daily. Coming to worship in silent, expectant waiting with heart and mind prepared required time for spiritual inspiration and reflection during the week. Content would have included prayer, Bible reading, and reading of Friends’ writings and journals.
Today Friends, and others, still need that kind of time for spiritual wrestling and deep listening. Desiring to provide food for thought and a pattern for a set-aside time for reflection and prayer, I decided to write devotionals for those who hunger for a faith that is real and alive. I am writing about ideas that are meaningful to me, challenges I have faced, and topics I have wrestled with. My hope is to share deeply but briefly about my experience with the topic and, out of love, to challenge, comfort, inform, inspire, and offer practical help to the reader in living the spiritual life.
I express my thoughts, but what is most important to me is to have you readers engage in your own wrestling and seeking, listening for the word that is yours to take from the devotional—which may or may not have anything to do with the topic or what I have to say. I write to invite your own encounter with the Living Presence, the Guide and Teacher, the Holy Mystery. I write as a Quaker fed by the Christian tradition. I use and wrestle with that language, and I invite you to be true to the language that is yours.
To further that possibility I include queries for engaging the topic with heart and soul, a prayer or way of praying related to the topic, and ways (such as Bible citations or Quaker quotations) to explore and reflect further on what the topic has to offer you. I hope your time of retirement with this material will be life-giving.