Another Listening Group has started this week. There are only two women, and they have been friends for twenty-some years. Most of the time, the people who sign up for the Listening Groups come from many places in the Chicagoland area and if they know one another, it is only by sight or casually. We decided that they were an experiment.
It always amazes me how delighted I feel when a new group starts. I’ve journeyed with enough people for 2 1/2 hours per month over an eight-month period to know that amazing insights will be shared, and I will be privileged to watch courageous and remarkable people struggle to come to terms with their personal issues, and I will witness wondrous (and no longer surprising to me) growth.
While cleaning my writing study and going through all those neglected files, I came across a letter from a friend who shared these words from Frank Laubach, quoted from his book Letters From a Modern Mystic.
It is not in fashion to tell your inmost thoughts, but there are many wrong fashions, and concealment of the best in us is wrong. I disapprove of the usual practice of talking ‘small talk’ whenever we meet and holding a veil over our souls. If we are so impoverished that we have nothing to reveal but small talk, then we need to struggle for more richness of the soul. As for me, I am convinced that this spiritual pilgrimage which I am making is infinitely worthwhile, the most important thing I know of to talk about. And talk I shall while there is anybody to listen. And I hunger—O how I hunger—for others to tell me their soul adventures.
This is why I think I am so delighted when others gather in my living room just for the purpose of listening to one another talk.
The woman who sent the note also wrote on the bottom, “Karen—I liked this writing and it made me think of you.” I consider that a compliment.
Award-winning author Karen Mains has long had an interest in spiritual formation and the obedient Christian walk. She has written about the God Hunt in her book by the same name, The God Hunt: The Delightful Chase and the Wonder of Being Found. A hardback copy can be ordered from Mainstay Ministries for $10.00 plus $4.95 shipping and handling. Contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will be happy to autograph a copy for you.
Karen continues to write content for her Christian blog, “Thoughts-by-Karen-Mains.” In so doing, she desires to touch the lives of Christian women and men and help them find ways to walk closer with the Lord Jesus Christ. In addition, through silent retreats, spiritual teaching, women’s retreats, Christian vacation opportunities, and other ministry activities, Karen helps each Christian woman and man receive vital spiritual food.
Through her Hungry Souls ministry, Karen serves as a spiritual coach to many Christian women and men, and teaches a mentor-writing class. And, through the Global Bag Project, she is working to develop a network of African women who sew exquisite cloth reusable shopping bags, Africa bags. This micro-finance women opportunity helps provide a much-needed sustainable income for struggling African families. For more information on this critically important project, please click here.
For decades, Karen and her husband, David, have served God through religious communications—radio, television, and print publication. They are the co-authors of the Kingdom Tales Trilogy: Tales of the Kingdom, Tales of the Resistance, and Tales of the Restoration. To find many valuable resources for pastors and congregations at the Mainstay Ministries main website, please click here.
Likewise, pastors will find special resources to help them prepare effective, life-transforming Sunday sermons by visiting David Mains’ website by clicking here.