I'm off at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a two-day retreat/conference featuring Bill Barry, S.J., the author of numerous books beloved by spiritual directors, at least by those in the Ignatian tradition.
Interestingly, the concept of God as friend, God seeking friendship with us, became something of a hot topic at seminary this year, thanks to one of my favorite professors and his work on supralapsarian Christology. I had not realized that God's friendship was a matter of controversy, having spent considerable time in the company of people for whom it is not, but I see now that even Bill Barry acknowledges it as having been a challenging concept for him at first.
I am very much looking forward to the next two days, to be spent in the company of many friends in the spiritual direction community. The topic has to do with experiences of spiritual direction in which your own (the director's) faith is challenged, which has caused me to think (only a tiny bit, admittedly) about what it has been like for my own spiritual director the last 21 months, contending with my grief, sadness, and desolation. Someday, I suppose, it will be me, accompanying people through unthinkable trauma and loss.
So ~ I'm hoping to learn a lot. This conference should be a really nice way to begin my new life adventures ~ the ones about which I haven't a clue.