A few years back I spent a good deal of time in youth ministry. I think it's what a lot of churched kids grow up to do when they grow out of high school group. I was no exception. I attended mid-week service, planned Mexico missions trips, lead youth worship, navigated college applications, and broke a finger playing youth hide-and-seek (it's still a little crooked).
As I've transitioned into being a spiritual director to several young adults I've been reintroduced to that world, in a way - the losses, the victories, the heartbreak, the doubt, the fear, the wins, and the friends that go along with it all.
When working with young people specifically, sometimes I wonder if they are still a little too close to their beginnings to get a good perspective on what's happening in their life. It's just part of the process of growing up an gaining perspective as we age. Even still, I've been longing to help the people I meet with, of all ages and perspective abilities, to connect with God even more deeply through their own creativity to meet the God who is Creator.
So, a couple of weeks ago after I received my Beta 1.0 test set of my Epiphany: Visio cards I brought them to a spiritual direction session with a college student.
I was also curious to see how the photographs were received in the session and how much of an impact they made. Secretly I wondered if I was making too much of my own project - were they really life changing? And then I was blown away.
The image my directee chose helped them understand a current circumstance in their life. But as we talked throughout our time together it came to light that the image chosen also connected significantly and deeply with their past. Through the photograph, the process, and our conversation the directee was able to connect a previously unrealized reality in their life that affects their everyday.
It's true for all of us that our past, whether we realize it or not, influences our present. Processes that help us navigate and consider the layers of our lives aid us in realizing these truths, and give us the opportunity to choose and live differently - for we can only change what we see.
But what if we could help them in the midst of this process to take a step back, using a medium that's familiar to their Instagram-ing, Facebook-ing selves? It could help them make powerful connections today that may change the trajectory of their futures. It could save them years of regret, aimless wandering, and low self-worth.
Yeah, let's do that. But let's do it together.
I'm still working on getting these visual devotional cards launched. If you can help me in the next 10-days (when my Kickstarter campaign ends on November 22, 2013) that would be awesome. If you can't pledge but want to help, will you spread the word? Here's the shareable link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/christineleesmith/visio-divina-visual-devotional-photograph-card-set
Thanks for reading. Thanks for supporting. Thanks for being. :)