The last month has been full of “blasts from the past.” The pastor who first picked me up from Heathrow Airport and brought me to the East End where I would live for the next five years, when I moved to London in my 20’s, just paid us a weekend visit on his way to visit his son in another state. Shortly after that I got lunch with my freshman year college roommate who I hadn’t seen in about seven years (which is ridiculous, because we don’t live that far away from each other).
And there’s been another significant reunion recently that I was absolutely not expecting. While I was in London, I worked for a few of those years with a middle-aged couple from the US who were training to be spiritual directors. (I think I’m older now than they were then, which is a little disconcerting, but whatever.) They were the people who introduced me to the concept, in fact, as well as to lectio divina and several other spiritual formation practices and principles. This stuff’s been percolating for a long time, you guys!
They moved away from London before I did, eventually returning to the States. Then I moved back to the States, and we fell out of touch. Periodically I would try to get back in touch–mutual friends, social media–but they could not be found. And then suddenly, back in August out of the blue, I got an email from Marty. She had been pointed to this website by a mutual friend and reached out via the contact form.
Earlier this year, I sadly had to part ways with my spiritual director. It was sad because he’s a really good spiritual director! But he also used to pastor the church I now pastor and so there were too many overlaps of people we know and too much of a conflict of interest. But Marty lives on the opposite end of the country and even though we knew a lot of the same people once, those were all relationships from the past, and we’re not actively still in touch with the same people. When she emailed, I asked if she’d consider being my next spiritual director.
Now we meet once a month on the phone. I give spiritual direction via video call on the regular, but I wasn’t sure how it would “work” over the phone with no visual cues at all. However, it seems to work just fine. And now my spiritual director is the person who first mentored me in spiritual direction and formation. I couldn’t have predicted anything so lovely and fitting.