Nancy Shadlock is a spiritual director and graduate of Carey Theological College in the MASF program. You can find her at web site, “Feeling In Colour.” Here is what Nancy writes:
I feel called to be a spiritual director. I have been faithful to the processes that are available to become one. I’ve grown in my own contemplative journey… I got the masters… I did the practicum… I enjoyed every part of the journey and love having the experience of meeting with people in this way.
Lately the work that God has given me to do has not been spiritual direction so much though, it’s been pottery. I have a neat line of pottery travel mugs that have been selling well and I’ve been investing my time in making those although I’d really rather be doing spiritual direction. Sometimes I get frustrated that the art of spiritual direction still seems so foreign to people and there seems to be a disconnect from those who are looking for it even realizing it is a possibility.
Recently a woman saw one of my mugs at the store Bird on a Wire where I sell them in Vancouver. She said, “At last! I have found the final resting place for my dear son who died at birth”.
I was incredibly honored to be invited into the process of making the urn for this woman’s precious child.
I asked her if she would like to come to the studio and choose the glaze so that we could ensure she got exactly what she wanted.
She came and while she was there I asked her if she’d like to stamp his name on the wet clay and she was very keen to do so. For the next hour she kneaded the clay and played with different angel and butterfly stamps and finally settled on just his name which she wrote on the bottom of the vessel with the words “Always Loved”. We worked in peaceful silence for most of the time, which I have come to be comfortable with thanks to my spiritual direction training. It was such a beautiful, sacred time and at the end she thanked me profusely for letting her get involved like that. She said it was just what she needed and was grateful to be part of the journey of this part of his life.
As she left the studio I felt the weight of what had just happened and was filled with gratitude for being able to walk with someone in such a vulnerable time of life. I am grateful for the ways that I do get to be a spiritual companion to people, even if it doesn’t look quite how we were taught in our practicum!