Writing to save the day:
Writing can be a true spiritual discipline. Writing can help us concentrate, to get in touch with the deeper stirrings of our hearts, to clarify our minds, to process confusing emotions, to reflect on our experiences, to give artistic expression to what we are living, and to store significant memories. Writing can be good for others who might read what we write. Quite often a difficult, painful or frustrating day can be ‘redeemed’ by writing about it. By writing we can claim what we have lived and thus integrate it more fully into our journeys. Then writing can become life-saving for us and sometimes for others too. Henri Nouwen
This is only one of the reasons that today is one of my favourite days of the year. For the third time we have run a day for people who are interested in writing about youth work, for Grove Books (www.grovebooks.co.uk) or in other contexts. It is such an encouragement and a blessing to be able to help facilitate people’s writing and to encourage people to share their experiences and insights more widely with others. Jo Whitehead who works with us at MCYM and I co-facilitate the day, this year aided by some short films where others shared their writing experiences. We don’t do it as experts but as people who enjoy writing, have found it to be therapeutic, beneficial for enhancing self-awareness and practice and with a shared passion to equip people to fulfil their potential and become more effective ministers in whatever field they are in.
It was a day to catch up with old friends, to meet people in real life I have only met on social media and to listen to people’s stories, passions and experiences and to see a growing confidence and inspiration that their story could illuminate the journey of others too. I have started keeping a gratitude journal, this day will certainly feature in it! We have a date in the diary for next year already!
Henri J M Nouwen Bread for the Journey London DLT 1996:135.