Story Corner – Reflective Stories for Guides & Companions
Stories can move us out of complex consciousness, and away from the tendency of our intellect to over-analyse and to extend its control of our lives. Stories can awaken other ways of knowing and of experiencing the world. At times they have the potential to open the eyes of our heart, or at least to invite our mind to descend into our heart. They can give us eyes that will gaze upon events in more intuitive and holistic ways. They often start with, ‘once upon a time’, which really means ‘in any time, even now’!
Josef & the Wise Woman: From estrangement to embrace
Once upon a time there was a prince named Josef . . . Read story
We are all wounded. What can entangle us early in life can impact our life trajectories. It is rare to find freedom through similar relational dynamics that gave rise to them. We need a greater personal solidarity, a more spacious relational presence, an expanded consciousness, along with a more profound hope. (Isaiah 53:3)
There once was a spider called Echo. Echo grew up as a special little spider, adored by his mother in a way that bespoke of the two shaping tragedies associated with his birth . . . Read Story
Caught in the hurly burly of life we can become so preoccupied with our pressing life circumstances that we come to avoid the prayerful solitude we need to engage, in a life-giving way, with what comes to us each day, each hour, and each minute. (Mark 1:35)
At the edge of the village . . . Read Story
In spite of our best efforts as followers of Jesus there are those close to us—even co-workers—that soon become our enemies. They are “functional enemies” as easy targets upon whom we can project of the dark, shadow, unwanted, and fugitive of ourselves. Jesus’ exhortation that we love our enemies is far more that a sound ethical principles. It’s about recovering our life. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8)
Angel Voice: Encountering the shadow
They called him “angel voice”. For when Jonathan sang . . .Read Story
With all our God-given potential for abundant living how come we still choose to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. How long do we remain blind to our interior disunity and to the many ways this manifests both in our inner and outer lives? Who can hold our contradictions in order that we become whole? (1 Corinthians 1:30)
Like each of us, Broken Jar was formed by the hands of the Master Potter . . . Read Story
Often through the tiny fissures that open around our woundedness seep notions of unworthiness, casting doubts about our capacity to reflect our Creator’s glory. The temptation is to live defensively, accepting our lot as cracked and flawed vessels, and cobbling together an identity founded on some reverse form of pride. The good news of the Gospels will have none of that! It is with our poverty, our tears and our meekness, not with our own worthiness, that the great journey begins. (Matthew 5:3 – 5)
The Ferryman: Being found by a friend like no other
There is an afternoon moment, late as the sun bids farewell, when in slow, sigh full surrender, it sacrifices its majestic light to be swallowed by its friends both earth and sea . . .Read Story
The quest seems long and the pathway arduous, taking as it does so many twists and turns. The questions are many and the wise guides few. How long will it take for us to discover that the one we seek, seeks us, and has already found us long; indeed found us, long, long ago. The invitation is always there for an ever deepening friendship, a friendship like no other. (2 Peter 1:3—see The Message)
Persona gets the jitters: Is God alone enough?
Dear Self, I write from the recovery ward of the hospital as I slowly edge towards my rehabilitation. There has been much misunderstanding, even treachery, with those underhand efforts to dislodge me, along with other of our esteemed colleagues . . .Read Story
How does Persona fare as we seek to deepen our faith quest and to open more of our person to relational encounters with God? Persona, who works so hard to cobble together an identity and construction of self—a mask often referred to as the “false self”—which is most acceptable to ourselves, to others, and to cultural norms, would take little or no comfort in the stillness and silence of our prayerful solitude. (Luke 11:24 – 26)
Pilgrims bring us their personal stories. To engage at depth we encourage them to be attentive to their emerging thread and to carefully notice what is happening within. This story thread can take us beyond the constrictions of the logic and the linear, into the more oblique realms of metaphor, imagery, active imagination, and parable. It is often on these less direct and circuitous pathways that the pilgrim’s soul can overcome its shyness and reveal its resourcefulness and its affinity (often tentative) with the Divine.