Truly in the remembrance of God do hearts find rest (Quran 13.28)
In the last week I have begun reading the book Out of Darkness Into Light by Jamal Rahman, Kathleen Schmitt Elias and Ann Holmes Redding. The book gives a wonderful introduction to spiritual guidance found in the Quran with reflections from the Jewish and Christian Faith provided by MS Elias and MS Redding respectfully. The three faiths Islam, Jewish, Christian are siblings and we share more than just a connection with Abraham, we share hearts.
As a Christian I am well versed in my own tradition, practices and beliefs but reading Jamal’s writings and MS Elias’ writings has opened up interesting doors into the shared space of our three faiths. One of those doors is called Spiritual Practice. I have always known many of our “Christian” spiritual practices have their roots in other faiths, yet as I read I am finding a second and third dimension in them. The practice I would like to highlight is a specific type of journaling Jamal calls “sacred writing.
I have practiced journaling for many years and have done something similar to the practice of sacred writing called “free writing or journaling where you write what comes to mind, letting my hand freely put on paper whatever comes from my heart. Sometimes there is an intention question sometimes not but always there is no planning of what I will write. Sacred writing is very similar but Jamal has beautifully paired it with the intention of going deeper into the heart of self when you’re sad, angry or in crisis, however, this is a good practice to use at anytime. Here is Jamal’s description:
“Start with the phrase, “Right now I am feeling” … and allow yourself to express your feelings and fears as fully as possible. After you finish, invoke the mercy of God and Make an intention to connect with your higher self. Start by writing. “I have heard your sighs, beloved one, and I want to tell you …” and continue writing, allowing your higher self to express itself fully.” (pg 55)
I have found that writing in this manner can produce insights to my own behavior and helps me find meaning in events or trials I could never have seen. One benefit to this method is by putting feelings onto paper gets them out of my body and I see clearer and become filled with an inner peace.
May the Great Spirit enter your heart as you pour out your fears and doubts onto a simple piece of paper. Amen
Ruth Jewell, ©March 4, 2014
 Rahman, Jamal, Kathleen Schmitt Elias, Ann Homes Redding; Out of Darkness Into Light, Spritual Guidance in the Quran with Reflections from Christian and Jewish Sources, Morehouse Publishing, New York, NY, 2009