Spiritual work is the best work between two friends: a mentor and one being mentored.
Recently I mentioned to a young man I’m in a mentoring relationship with that he was ‘larger than life’, and to give him credit, he was pondering what that actually meant.
Later we ‘spoke’ over social media messaging, as he wanted to acknowledge that perhaps God was doing this work in him. This is what I said:
It’s good that the Holy Spirit is working in you, Tom (not his real name), to bring to the surface those things you reflect on in your unconscious mind. That’s the first thing. The second thing is this: ‘Larger than life’ is God’s joy working through you as you interact with others. The more you are yourself – your honest self – the more joy – the larger than life you will be. This is but a taste of what is to come... interestingly, I don’t see being larger than life as a showy thing... more of a ‘I want to pour all of myself into the moment – to give you all of me...’ if that makes sense...
As I re-read the words Tom had sent me and as I reflected over what I’d responded with I was amazed at the power of the Holy Spirit to break into a person’s psyche to cause deeper reflection, and what the communication of that reflection does as we journey together.
That is, of a poignant sense, what is happening as we develop meaning together in the spiritual dimensions drawn out of the mentoring relationship. It’s special in that the Holy Spirit is working in both people and between both people. There are those three visible dynamics at play. The mentoring relationship is thereby a meaning-making exercise. And the two protagonists in the mentoring relationship aren’t the only ones in play – the Holy Spirit, again, works in both and between both.
The dimension of learning far extends past the space that the two share in the encounter. Indeed, the Holy Spirit has already mandated those encounters between himself and the person with whom he’s working in – those minutes or months away.
So the Holy Spirit’s divine intervention, as he breaks through into the realm of our thought, is revelation, and, in that, the power of the living God, for which we can praise the Lord.
The mentoring relationship in the Christian setting is enhanced by the role the Holy Spirit plays in each person and between each person. Such a mentoring relationship is a dynamic working relationship that superintends learning.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.