Recently I returned with Heather Strube from Southeast Asia having done a strange mission trip with Coracle: offering spiritual direction and formation in a far off land with those bringing Jesus in even farther off lands! That doesn’t happen without some context.
C.S. Lewis’s journey with his spiritual director brought him to greater places of peace and humility in His walk with Christ, and it has been a source of inspiration for me in my own life. I was first drawn to Coracle by my hunger for an empathetic companion, a spiritual director who would walk with me in my pursuit of greater intimacy with God and greater transformation in my own life. So began a transformative journey that led to my now becoming a companion for others in the same way. Like many, I can sometimes lean more toward working for God rather than being with God. I long for the rhythm of withdrawal and engagement that Jesus modeled in His relationship with His Father where the engaging in kingdom activity was a genuine partnership between friends. As is so often the case, my journey in relationship with my spiritual director into greater intimacy with God has led to me coming alongside others with the same longings.
I love engaging with men and women in cultural contexts where it is hard for them to conceive that God loved us so much that He would become one of us in order to restore us to intimate union with the Trinity. I admire those who labor in difficult places and opportunities to encourage them bring me a lot of joy. At the beginning of this month, Heather Strube, a fellow spiritual director with Coracle, and myself had the amazing opportunity to visit a significant gathering of folks doing the very kind of work cross-culturally that I have so delighted in in the past. These are dear folks who have made significant choices to give up what is familiar and locate to entirely new cultural contexts with all the adjustment that requires to love people who are not necessarily ready to easily receive the depth of God’s love for them. These folks labor diligently under great challenges and often feel alone and weary.
Heather and I had the opportunity to sit with a number of them, offering them the ear of a fellow pilgrim, a spiritual director. We were humbled by their stories and watching God remind them of how He was with them and attentive to their hearts’ cries and longings. We offered workshops on ordering our lives in a manner that makes us more available to God and more aware of His steadfast love and faithfulness. We wanted to bring a reminder that we have permission to pursue God in a way that cares for all of who we are as embodied disciples of Jesus. A way of life that breathes in relationship with a God who is not seeking to just use us but to dwell with us.
I could not have imagined when I began my relationship with Coracle and Bill Haley my spiritual director 9 years ago that God would weave together my love for the nations and hunger for greater intimacy with Him with being a blessing to others who shared those same passions. Thanks be to God for His generous love!