When I was in elementary school, I desperately wanted to wear purple. But, my favorite color was my mother’s least favorite, so it was an uphill battle. Here is a proclamation that one of my mother’s dearest friends wrote in my support! When you look at the picture, imagine a royal purple border, one that has now faded to a muddy lavender at best. Then read the words, recreated below.
Although we are spiritual beings, we are also sensory creatures, taking in details of the world through our eyes, our ears, our noses, tongues and fingertips. So, at a recent spiritual writing workshop, we took two objects used in the Bible in symbolic ways and explored them in sensory ways. These objects were water and rocks.
Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (Romans 12: 6-8)
I have been teaching monthly spiritual writing classes, where people can work on identifying the specific gifts that God has given them and where we can support one another in the journey. What’s amazing about these classes is that people who don’t necessarily identify themselves as writers find meaning in what we do. The biggest challenge, really, is defining what – for the purposes of our classes, anyhow – spiritual writing really is.
I’ve found three ways to explain it that seem to help. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too!