Informal Spiritual Direction


In my experience, spiritual direction often occurs informally.  For many years my friend, Nancy, has been a spiritual companion.  Nancy and I were college roommates.  When we first met, she was a firm Christian and I was claiming to be an atheist!  Actually, I think this was a way of daring God to show up in my life, which He did.  Over the years Nancy and I have remained friends and grown in faith together.  We don’t get together in person very often, so we correspond by letter and email.  Nancy is someone to whom I can pour out my heart and know she will listen without judging.  Sometimes she asks hard questions I don’t really want to think about or answer.  Although we have never “decided” to become spiritual guides to one another, the spiritual dimension of life is always an important part of our “conversations.”  We discuss family and congregational life, important transitions, insights from our study, our prayer life and struggles and more, always from the perspective of discerning God’s presence and will for our lives.  We also pray for one another.  I did an earlier post about every Christian needing a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy in their lives …Nancy has been my Barnabas, walking alongside, encouraging and sharing.  I hope I have been a Barnabas friend to her as well.

Nancy was the person who sponsored me on my Via de Cristo weekend, certainly one of the milestones in my faith journey.  Via de Cristo encourages participants to form “reunion groups” and when this is done properly, these groups also become a form of  spiritual direction.  Stay tuned for an upcoming post about mutual spiritual direction in my reunion group…



2 responses

  1. Yes, we most definitely fall under the heading of informal spiritual direction, but that has been a wonderful gift and blessing in my life. It makes me think of that Eugene Peterson book called A Long Obedience in the Same Direction.


  2. I love Eugene Peterson, but I haven’t read that particular book. I’ll have to make a point of getting it. Sounds like good Lenten reading.