Parables and Poetry

Honesty Works

Both parables and poetry can help us grow our faith because they both, if done honestly, help us to get at the truth a bit sideways. They can help open our eyes to God's truth and help us see the less than lovely truth about ourselves. 


Parables


Jesus used parables because he knew they were an important way to help people see the truth. This is because they are a way to flip us up-side down or rather let God flip us up-side down so we can see more accurately. 


I don't know about you, but I get so use to seeing the world through a certain lens, so assured that I am correct and so attached to my view, that it takes a shock to see things differently.  Parables are enjoyable stories, seemingly with no purpose but to entertain, that draw us in and lead us down our same path of seeing and then surprise us. Through this surprise we see a new, glimpse of the truth.  


The Bible is full of parables. Two of the most famous are The Good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37) and The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).  Jesus uses stories to teach us both how we should act and how much God loves us.  If you can't feel how much God loves you immerse yourself in the story of the Prodigal Son (actually imagine yourself as the son) and feel how surprising God's love is.  


My favorite book of parables besides the Bible is The Song of the Bird by Anthony De Mello.


Poetry


Poetry can also free us to be honest with ourselves when the writer is honest about their struggles with faith and being human. One of my favorite authors, Ted Loder, is brutally honest about his faith and struggles in Guerrillas of Grace.  Hearing someone beautifully and vulnerably admit their failings gave me the space to admit my own. When we are willing to see ourselves more accurately, through God's loving eyes, He can do some of the deeper work.   



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Other Resources

Center for Action and Contemplation

Center for Action and Contemplation

Center for Action and Contemplation

Resources including daily mediation, podcasts, conferences, and books from Richard Rohr. 

HeartPaths DFW

Center for Action and Contemplation

Center for Action and Contemplation

Training in Spiritual Leadership, Spiritual Direction, and Contemplative Prayer. 


Christian Meditation Podcast

Center for Action and Contemplation

Christian Meditation Podcast

Great place to start with meditation. This is available on the website or as a podcast. 

Reimagining the Examen App

Reimagining the Examen App

Christian Meditation Podcast

Wonderful app that takes you step by step through different forms of the examen. 

On Being

Reimagining the Examen App

Contemplative Outreach

 Intelligent conversation on religion, meaning, civility, and justice. Available on-line or as a podcast.  

Contemplative Outreach

Reimagining the Examen App

Contemplative Outreach

Resource for individuals wanting to live the "contemplative dimension of the Gospel."