Monday, 11 January 2010

Spiritual Room

I was reading a fine book (as they all are) by Henri Nouwen, and he introduced me to the idea that a person's spiritual life (and every human has one) is like a room.

Only while I was writing about the state of my wardrobe in the previous post was I reminded about this rather warming idea. I am going to offer my 'take' on it, as I have had cause to do at various funerals and similar such gatherings.

I like this idea because it allows the person to be themselves. I have added my Guitar Hero axe to mine only this last Christmas; why? because I love Heavy Metal and mine isn't a vocation where such a disclosure is fully consonant. I love the committment and musicality of heavy rock music, more especially the music of Metallica. They write and perform many angsty songs about a whole manner of things that speak of things like God, sin and Forgiveness. They attend to war and its futility as well - so lots to cheer an ailing soul! But the thing about it is, I love rock music and my spiritual room is a place of utter safety where I can turn the volume up and just let rip. This room is where I can be me, truly and properly me. A few people have peered inside, but no-one has entered the door, they can't (yet).

I was once assaulted with some piffle of a theory that suggests that a person has their 'front stage' and 'back stage' personae. Meh: I am all one person, but I have facets of me that are important and they can be aired in safety in my spiritual room.

I urge you all to examine your spiritual rooms, or at the least level become acquianted with the fact that you have one. Some may call it the heart, but a room is a place that we can more fully relate to. It is, as I have earlier suggested, that can become cluttered and untidy, or it can be a barren and unfriendly place. It might even have its own Feng Shui, but that is an entirely other post!

The aspect of this that is most applicable at funerals is that the loved-ones of the recently died have leave, for the first time, to step inside the room of the one just gone. The amount of times that I communicate something hitherto unknown to their nearest and dearest is astounding. You think you know someone ... In my spiritual room, I can rest. I dont even need to withdraw from life as that is not often possible, but this room has a window through which I can gaze upon things that are otherwise hidden to me. Kids would know this as daydreaming, but no better theological reflector than a child ever walked this earth. All of us need to go to our Room, sit in the chair that we have put there. It is a place where I can be calm, happy, deeply chuffed off, silly, excitable and a whole other array of the bits of me that normally live in a box! I can take a novel in there or a good spiritual book, either is fine. It is also a place with a table upon which I can lay out the 'cards' of my hopes and dreams; I can order them, re-order them or even disregard them (I have waste bin in there too). The thing is, when I enter, I feel the same and I feel good.

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