Greetings from your chaplain as we celebrate 25 years of God’s faithfulness and goodness to IWS and each of us!

Our chapel themes each day for the coming June session will be informed by our founder’s books on ancient-future sensibilities. Bob Webber’s heart for helping us understand God’s work through the lens of the BIG picture of God’s story is meaningful for all of life.

In this article, I’d like to reflect on how ancient-future thinking can minister to our souls.

Socrates said that “the unexamined life is not worth living.” Reflecting on our lives is a form of examination and it helps us live life well. We often look back on our lives (the “ancient”) with either nostalgia or pain. Sometimes we can work through the bad on our own, or we may need the help of a therapist or spiritual director. One’s past experiences can help to shape and grow us IF we let God use them for our good and God’s glory. Sounds like James 1:2-4 and Romans 5:3-5!

Romans 5 invites us into HOPE, which is the “future” aspect of a reflective life. As we look back on our past and grow from the struggles through which we have persevered, growing in character in the process, hope for the present and the future is born in our hearts and minds. The truth is that God meets us in our reality—NOW—bringing healing from our past, assuring us of God’s faithfulness and goodness, so that we can move with hope into the future.

I experienced an aspect of ancient-future spirituality recently while in Thailand on a ministry trip. Night Light is a ministry in Bangkok that is “compelled by love to reach out to, rescue, and restore all those who are negatively impacted by sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.”

Rachel Wilhelm (MWS student) and others from United Adoration were invited to lead a 2-hour creative time with 10 of the women who have been rescued out of exploitation. I shared a short devotional using the Japanese art of Kintsugi (mending broken pottery with resin and gold) as an illustration of our brokenness and God’s healing grace. Then Rachel led the women in a time of healing through art as they chose four paint colors representing pain and hurt and then four colors representing hope and healing. Using those colors, they drew butterflies and colored in the wings—one side symbolizing pain, the other side hope. It was a joy to be present with them and pray for them as they created and then shared their stories and the art that came out of those spaces of brokenness and hopefulness.

Below are a few of those butterflies to encourage you, too, to take time to reflect on the past and ask God to give you hope for the future—ancient-future LIVING!   

I look forward to seeing many of you on campus in June for the IWS Worship Seminar!!

A wounded healer myself,
Nancy

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