When I first sit with a client, I offer my abbreviated definition of spiritual direction – that which I have come to recognize as true over the more than a decade of answering the call to this wonderful ministry. To me, it is about “Holy Listening;” the client and I are seeking to discern how God is working through what is happening in their journey of the moment. I define “Holy Listening” as the practice of keeping my heart and soul open to hear what is really being said – what is the real issue at hand (often entirely different from the perceived concern). I ask questions that spur the directee to see things from a different perspective, and explore an idea which they may not have previously considered.
Margaret Gunther says spiritual direction is “the midwifery of the soul,” and I tend to agree. It is an intimate relationship with another human being, when the discussions are truly soul-sharing. As a spiritual director I am not called to find solutions; instead, I am the person with whom an issue can be discussed with no judgement. It allows us, the director and the directee, to be surprised by the grace of God when suddenly the path forward may be revealed. As midwife, I am there to help with that birthing of a new idea, and to help locate the tools necessary to navigate the course.
To be able to see a path moving forward, it seems helpful to have some understanding of the “back story” of how God and the directee have worked together over the lifetime journey to mold them into their chosen career. The Clergy Program, and other programs of the Davidson Centre, present a spiritual direction structure of two one-on-one sessions, as well as group direction three mornings of the program. Though retrospect is important, looking backwards is not the primary goal within the time structure. This baby is being born, and a new world awaits!
“You are destined to fly, but that cocoon has got to go!” Together, the director and directee work to discover what is being held back from all that God has called them to be. Spiritual direction is a tool like none other, allowing the exploration of conversation that will draw fresh ideas and needs from a well that may have been diminished over time. Thanks be to God!