Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Art of Spiritual Conversation

I LOVE podcasts.  But I’m picky about them.  I insist, for example, that they not make me unreasonably angry, that they are well done from a technical point of view, that they reliably offer new content, and that most of all that they encourage thinking and learning.

I have been listening to a new one in recent weeks called “Cross talk” ( is a group of several men from the same congregation who get together and record about half an hour of conversation on a spiritual topic.  It’s like getting to be at camp or a retreat and sit and listen as mature Christians mull over a deep topic.  Delightful. 

There are other conversations I wish I could overhear.  I would love to sit and listen to Jesus unwinding with the Apostles, or Paul, Aquila and Priscilla talking over their tents.  I wonder what Ruth and Naomi talked about while the baby played, or who David found to share his poems with.

The fact is that the people of God have always found companions who shared their love for Him.  That’s what a congregation is, you know.  It’s a bunch of people who live in the same area, who all love God and are seeking Him, who need to get together to talk about Him and talk to Him.  People who are overflowing with praise for Him just have to find a friend who understands just how awesome He is.  Being without that fellowship of believers is to risk terminal discouragement (Hebrews 10:24-25). A congregation is a godly conversation in progress.

I have been blessed with amazing conversationalists in my life.  Mostly female, they are the people with whom I discuss child-rearing, education, various life troubles and joys, and housekeeping.  More importantly I talk Bible study, theology and the practice of living out faith with them. They help me think, argue with me, convict me, and keep me honest.  I would be so alone without them.

I am blessed at this time in my life (just as I was in at least two of my homes abroad) with having spiritual friends in my own church family as well as far away. The far-away friends provide a sounding board. They are impartial sources of wisdom who help me understand issues close to home.  And the nearby friends? Well, we do our talking in kitchens, on playgrounds or soccer fields, and when the church meets together.

The youngest of my friends remind me that I am an older woman illustrating everyday what it means to be a godly wife and mother.  We live in a world where the examples dwindle daily.  

The oldest of my friends bless me with their wisdom.  What may be a hypothetical and interesting theological point to me may be a road they have walked down, a cup they have drank to the last ugly drop.  They understand things at the root that I have only seen in the leaf. 

Do you find yourself alone these days?  Or perhaps your relationships with other women end up being competitive or frivolous? Let me recommend a podcast to get you thinking (link) and encourage you to take your friends with you to a new spiritual level. Ask them an open ended question about what you’ve been reading or what favorite Bible story they tell the kids at bedtime.  Find out their thoughts on the Sunday night’s sermon, or ask them how they organize their prayer time or Bible study.  One question is often enough to get things started; soon you too can be enjoying the art of spiritual conversation.


Want to know more about the discipline of "Spiritual Conversation?" Try this post from the archives: The Things We Didn't Talk About


  1. we all yearn for those deeper conversations, the soul-deep ones that leave us changed. thanks for sharing what's worked for you, Helene ...

    just a quick hi from your next door neighbor at Lyli's!



  2. Thank you for this. I rarely see another spiritual friend who I can have a deep conversation with. But I do have a special one just across the bay. She is homeschooling four kids and I am 67 who tutors. So when we get a chance to gather together, it is special. I will listen to this podcast for I think I need it. The other really good thing is that my husband and I have begun reading the Bible together each evening and we both are so blessed. Our conversations are wonderful.
    Yes, I miss having a count-on female friend nearby, but God knows the hopes and desires of my heart.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  3. I love finding new podcasts! Thanks for the recommendation this week :)