A quiet day is like a one day retreat – a day reserved to spend with God. While retreats are great that there is more time to settle and be away from the daily life, a quiet day is usually more accessible for most of us. Plus – God can do a lot in one day!
Recently I facilitated a quiet day with a focus with creativity in prayer. We reflected Peter’s experience with Jesus, and use the creative medium like collage, crayons, paint and clay to pray. It was at the lovely Porirua hospital chapel, surrounded by a memorial garden and a labyrinth. There were plenty of space to sit with nature as well as make some art.
Ever wonder about what is in a quiet day? Every quiet day looks a little different, this is what I said at the beginning of the day:
- We are keeping silence for the day – it may feel awkward at first, but it is a gift to yourself and others, we are holding a space for each other to talk with God. You could be a mother, a carer or a minister. But today, you are a child of God, and no more. Let God simply be with you.
- We will refrain from looking at someone else’s work or commenting on it. We will give each other space needed to be free. Phone on airplane mode or in silent mode (not vibrate) please.
- Creativity – Whenever we create, it’s sensitive, it’s a part of us.
We are not here to make pretty pictures or realistic looking art, Real work is not on the paper – it is inside of us.
A line can be anything you want it to be, or nothing at all!
For some of you, creativity might be your job- It will be extra harder for you to let go of the need to make it pretty. Please go back to being 5 and have some fun!
- Let your inner critics go. There are no such things as mistakes – only opportunities to keep exploring what comes after.
- You might think that I have plans – I kind of do, but I also don’t! I don’t know where this will lead and that is the exciting part – we are making room for God to do God stuff, so when you feel the tug to go off script – please do. If you prefer to have more guidance, then let me know.
- Rhythm of today looks like this – scripture reading, art making, reflect your work and dialogue with God about it. At the end of the day there is opportunity to share but it’s not mandatory.
- Dwell on the gifts, even if it is just one thing! If nothing comes, that’s ok! Simply play and rest if you like, and see what surface at the end of the day.
- Be attentive to yourself – be honest about what is, not what I wish it is, or what it could be. Have grace for yourself!
Be open to God and where God might take you.
Be playful and have fun!
The schedule look like this:
- Welcome, very brief introductions of each person (sometimes just name)
- Karakia and talk about how to spend the day
- first drawing: a quick drawing about what we bringing or feeling, what our hope is for the day.
- Reading 1st scripture Luke 5.1-11: Peter being called by Jesus
We imagine the scene and draw with crayons. Reflect and dialogue with Jesus through the drawing.
- Short break
- Reading 2nd scripture Matt 14.22-33: Peter climbed out of the boat and walked on water
Make a collage of Jesus’ call – what does the call sound like?
Reflect the collage in prayer
- Free time –
We can go through the optional reflecting questions,
or make more art in whatever medium,
or go for a walk,
or pray through the labyrinth…
Everyone make and eat their lunch at their own time.
- Optional 3rd scripture reading John 21.2-23: Resurrected Jesus appeared when Peter was fishing (again)
- Closing, we each sharing the gifts of the day. Last creative exercise and prayer.
Fresh truths appeared when I did that (interaction with a creation) – unexpected, breaking new ground, joy filled.– A quiet day participant
How do you feel about spending a day in silence with God? How about using art as a way to pray? If you ever feel the ‘tug’ to try a new place to meet God in, try a quiet day and see what happens!