When business and government and culture hold up reason and logic as the only sources of truth, how do we learn to listen to that soft guidance of Spirit calling to us?
How do I talk about Spirit in a way that is honest and also isn’t caught in divisive assumptions? It’s a challenge.
My spiritual path is Christian. Jesus lights my heart on fire and guides the way—this is something I experience in my life and know in my bones rather than just believe in my mind. Simultaneously, I am aware of disturbing cultural values that have swept into the Christian Church—patriarchy, colonialism and patriotism to name a few. Nonetheless, just like my white skin or being a native Texan, being Christian is part of who I am.
Photo by Noa Mohlabane
For most of my life, the boundaries of my faith expanded beyond my church. While I still stand within the Christian tradition, I’ve stretched the edges of my faith by reincorporating forgotten wisdom (Jesus’s radical call to love, forgiveness, justice and community with friends, strangers and even enemies) and embracing aspects of the spiritual life too often overlooked by the Church (such as most of the feminine aspects of the divine). When it comes to the Spirit, I’ve always wanted more, and I’ve been given amazing teachers, mentors and guides to explore all of the different ways spirituality can be expressed and experienced.
My own faith stands on the strength of paradoxes: Things seen and unseen, a spiritual journey that brings both the “peace that passeth understanding”* and the wild, bumpy ride of transformation, Sabbath and work, urgent global or personal needs and the wisdom in waiting for guidance, spirit and culture.
Thinking about paradoxes for too long can tie my brain in knots, but living them has made all the difference.
Spiritual transformation sometimes requires going on a pilgrimage. For me, this journey involved going to North Carolina, my ancestral land, Wichita Falls, Texas, my birth homeland and Mercy Center, in Burlingame, California, a place that has been one of my spiritual homes for 30 years:
I continue to dive deeper into spirituality on my Big Topics Blog:
To accept Thurston's offer of companionship for this very wild ride is to be invited … no, to be catapulted into one's own adventure of spiritual discovery and discernment.
-David Schlafer, Episcopal priest, homiletics professor, and author of Your Way with God's Word, The Shattering Sound of Amazing Grace, and Preaching What We Practice.
Nancy's willingness to explore the voices within and to follow the leading of the Spirit in her choices is a powerful witness for those who seek transformation in the world for the sake of our children.
-Rose Feerick, Director of Harvest Time and mother of two boys