Encounters with God: Joan of Arc
When Joan of Arc was 12 years old, she began to be visited by “Voices” as she called them. If she had marked that off on a psychological assessment today she would be flagged for potential schizophrenia or psychosis. Things weren’t great then either. Women were being labeled as a witch if they did something society couldn’t quite place. However, Joan spoke fondly and unapologetically of the voices. It was during her time in her father’s garden that the voices began and her faith increased. The voices would eventually lead her at 17 years old to achieve legendary victories for the French during the 100 Years War.
Joan grew up in a rural French town where if they didn’t have produce and animals of their own, they didn’t eat. Gardening was a necessity and the background noise of the day was… nature. There were no podcasts to drown out the silence. No phone to intermittently text friends. Joan’s work was focused and her mind was quiet. It was in this quiet that space was made available to hear the divine.
In our highly stimulated environment, it may be hard to even be drawn to a contemplative activity. It may not feel as natural to us as it did to Joan of Arc. However, it is still a worthwhile endeavor to pursue. We all need those quiet, contemplative moments.
During the strict quarantine phase of the pandemic, many hobbies began popping up. My dog and I took many walks around the neighborhood. I started seeing garden boxes, chicken coops, and new puppy adoptions. Sourdough starters became a thing.
Activities like this not only open space for quiet time to encounter God, but they also go outward into our relationship with others. I was a benefactor of my friends’ fresh produce, chicken eggs, and sourdough. I was a huge fan! And of course, the joy of playing with a new puppy. So great. The energy and creativity gained from time alone with God extends to time with God and others. It overflows.
At Desert Road Ministries, we provide space in The Kelsey Room. The purpose of this room is to provide convenient, free space for you to be still and contemplate in the middle of a busy day. There are prayer mats available, coffee, and stillness. If there is a hobby or spiritual practice you want to try, there is uninterrupted space for you to do it. Go to The Kelsey Room page to reserve your time of quiet. Who knows what God will show you there.