Parched and Languishing
Afraid this was who I would be…forevermore…after the death of my Mom. I know that spell check thinks it should be a lower case “m”; but, hey, it’s my Mom with a capital M.
Then late one night at the office (because I hadn’t been able to complete any task during the day), I pulled from my mailroom cubby an unprofessional looking beige flyer. I remember thinking, “If I was a flyer, I’d look just like this.” So, because of the personal connection established, I began to read. The flyer was advertising an opportunity to participate in a spiritual formation group. Words like authentic,
compassion, and community were on the page. These words, plus the bold typed contemplative soul
care moved me to tears.
Granted the tears were not new; however, the movement of curiosity was. I had been so stuck.
I clutched that 8½ x 11 piece of beige hope for dear life and returned to my desk. Facing my fears and my computer, I clicked the compose button, typed the email of the contact person, asked for more information, waited, prayed, and hit SEND.
That dark night of the soul was a turning point for me. Shortly afterward, I began regularly meeting with a group of people who were yearning to discover ways to connect with the sacred, to engage with spiritual rhythms, to fill their grief-induced emptiness with an abiding peace, and to be held with holy gentleness, compassion, love.
Our group met weekly, soaking up the lessons our facilitators shared about a variety of spiritual
practices. It was refreshing to learn that there was not just one practice. Rather it was more like a
spiritual smorgasbord of ways to open oneself to The Spirit’s stirring of insights and gifts. It was also
comforting to experience a steady routine or ritual with a group of persons who were honest and
vulnerable, who honored and accepted others’ experiences, and who held confidences and each other in prayer.
After several months of committing to this group and to this new path of growth in grace and
experiences with The Spirit’s wild and surprising movement, I had an epiphany. Here I was part of such a unique group of beloved children of God and all that I knew about them was their names and their personal experiences with The Spirit. I didn’t know much, if anything at all, about their families, work, hobbies, educational backgrounds, favorite restaurants, latest fiction, or non-fiction reads, where they lived, or what they put in their coffee. What I did know was an abundance about their faith, the very essence of their hearts, and their experiences with The Spirit. Their sharing of their experiences broadened my awe and appreciation of how The Spirit works in and through every single one of us. Although we had been meeting for a short span of time, it felt like we were life-long friends.
Cultivating friendships through this spiritual practice group and becoming more keenly awareness of
grace upon grace has prompted me to offer such a group to those reading The Spirituality of Grief; 10 Practices For Those Who Remain.
If you are interested, please visit the Contact page. I will be in touch with you to learn more about your interest and expectations for participating in a spiritual practice group. Our first group meeting will be online on Tuesday, May 9, from 7 – 8 p.m.
I look forward to meting you.
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