Volume 26, Number 4
December 2020


In This Issue

"Just Like You" — Jenny Jansen

"In each new era of human history, the sacred work of being human requires that we begin again and, taking into account human history thus far, repose our spiritual questions within the light of current knowledge, beliefs, and lived experience. We then allow our spiritual questions to work through us to completion. In so doing, we discover responses that hold true within a given framework of understanding reality."


Kaye Twining


“The human heart is full of longing. We long to discover who we are. The voices of longing keep our lives alert and urgent. Yet if we cannot discover a shelter of belonging within our lives, we could become a victim and target of our longing.” —Christian Celtic poet and philosopher John O’Donohue

This article is offered in the knowledge that it sits within a particular framework of understanding: a spiritual but not religious Western mindset, drawing from a worldview of conscious evolution grounded in the emerging tradition of evolutionary spirituality.


John Brown did not end slavery in the United States, but his death kick-started a war that did. Some true purpose awaits each of us. We are the luckiest people in the world.


Our Sponsors

More Articles

Patricia Said Adams


Writing to parents in The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran spoke these words: “You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. / The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far” (18). An arrow flies through the air in a trajectory, an arc that eventually loses steam and falls to earth. If we think of our lives as a trajectory, a bearing, an orientation, or a path, and the archer as God, then we can begin to make sense of our lives spiritually.

Our Sponsors


Michael Dallaire


Mary Camille Thomas


William Rush


Jacob J. Staub


Our Sponsors


edited by Ineda P. Adesanya


Reviewed by Wendy Farley


edited by Tirzah Firestone

Reviewed by Karen Erlichman


by Brian Thomas Swimme


Reviewed by Marcia Wakeland


by John J. Prendergast


Reviewed by Amelia Stratton-Smith


by Robert E. Alvis


Reviewed by Kathryn Madden, rc


by Ilia Delio, OSF


Reviewed by Donna Erickson Couch


by Christine Valters Paintner


Reviewed by Stephanie Bussey-Spencer Patton


by Westina Matthews


Reviewed by Greg Richardson


by Christopher Kerr, MD, PhD, with Carine Mardorossian, PhD


Reviewed by Linda Douty



Publisher: Spiritual Directors International

Executive Director: Rev. Seifu Anil Singh-Molares, MTS

Editor: Nick Wagner

Media Review Editor:  Pegge Erkeneff

Art Editor: Matt Whitney

Graphic Designer: Tobias Becker

Founding Editor: Susan S. Jorgensen, MA

Poetry Editor: Jennifer (Jinks) Hoffmann

Presence: An International Journal of Spiritual Direction is published in March, June, September, and December. Presence offers a forum among diverse people and spiritual traditions for the exploration of present and future trends in the art and ministry of spiritual direction. Presence is grounded in the belief that our deepest calling is to be present to one another as we share the gift of ourselves. Presence strives to articulate the essential elements of contemplative practices, formation, and training; to encourage accountability; and to develop clear ethical guidelines. Presence supports a global contemplative dialog of spiritual care and compassion for others, ourselves, and the whole cosmos. ISSN 1081-7662.

Opinions expressed in this journal are the opinions of the authors and advertisers and may not represent the opinions of Spiritual Directors International, the coordinating council, or the editors. All biblical quotations are from the NRSV unless otherwise noted.


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