So maybe you are wondering why I have included two pictures of the inside of my home here in Indianapolis on this blog. What does an open dresser drawer and an open kitchen drawer have to do with spirituality and growth in the Spirit?
Here is the story: This winter I was confined to the house much more than in past times due to my recovery from knee replacement surgery. I tired easily and often was in pain. But I wanted some projects to keep the time moving.
I realized that there were two things that I had been wanting to do for a long time: I wanted to line the kitchen drawers with a splash of color, something fun to look at. And I wanted to try to line with cloth the drawers in a hundred year old dresser in my bedroom. On bleak winter days I measured, cut, glued both the kitchen liner and a piece of cloth called "Grandpa's Pyjamas" that I found at a nearby cloth store on sale. When I finished, I realized that it was a fun project and it definitely gave me the splash of color in the kitchen as well as warmer drawers in the dresser. No more boring non-descript bare wood!
Working on these drawers caused me to reflect on spiritual development and the work of spiritual direction. All of this work is about the inner life. Spirituality is never about the surface of things . . . usually that surface is not very deep or profound. When individuals arrange to meet with a spiritual director or mentor, it is because they want to deepen their inner life. They are impatient with superficialities. Sometimes they have been hurt or abused by spiritual or religious expressions that are judgmental and unloving. These individuals are training their senses on everything that happens beneath the surface, in spaces of the soul that are not in public sight.
Here are some of the examples of under-the-surface things that come to the surface in direction:
The great privilege of a spiritual director is to share in this inner journey. But accompaniment on this journey requires that the spiritual director also drills deep into her or his own spirit.
Usually in spiritual direction both the director and the directee discover an awareness of how the Holy One is at work in the hidden places of one's being. Just as with the kitchen and dresser drawers, spiritual direction contributes to a more interesting, textured, colorful and meaningful inner profile.