I recently finished reading Holy Listening by Margaret Guenther. I found this through a reference to it in another book I read recently Sacred Companions by David Benner. I guess I was drawn to read more about the way God changes us through our relationships; specifically the kind of friendships where we work at growing deeper in faith in Christ together. I have found this kind of friendship, a spiritual companionship, to be one of the greatest stimuli for spiritual growth in my own life. It is a blessing to be involved in helping others grow spiritually and to be nurtured in kind by my friends.
Margaret Guenther taught me many things as I read her book. The book talks about the art of spiritual direction and I wonder if perhaps God is leading me in this direction. We will see where he takes me. I think there are aspects of spiritual direction of which I have been privileged to be a part. Listening is something I am comfortable with although I believe that anyone who gives spiritual direction has to be fairly healthy in the spiritual sense. I know God has things to work on in me.
One of the things that I found refreshing was the way Guenther was so comfortable with her femininity. In one section she encourages women to read the gospels “with a woman’s eye” and to be comfortable “with feminine imagery for God in prayer.”
I found myself realizing that even though my own father has always been loving and approachable, it is still the memories of my mother’s unfailing love that probably portray best the unfailing and utterly dependable love of God. In my mother’s example of love, there is that sense that no matter what I did, she would still love me. It was to my mother that I went for comfort when hurt. It was to her that I turned first for her motherly wisdom.