July 31 Spiritual Saturday

Biblical mother bird images, 

Imaginative writing, 

Illustrating through doodling

Join spiritual director and flutist, Mary Ann Archer as she brings to light

mother bird images of God in the Bible, helps participants write an imaginative encounter with a mother gooseand shows how doodling can “illustrate” our writing.


Southminster Spiritual Saturday, July 31, 2021

OPENING PRAYER –A Circling Blessing

May you practice your divine search

over all your days

May you sit often and gently

in the presence of the great Spirit

And as you practice, may you slowly find

That you have been found all along

Kirk Webb


As we go around the circle, tell us your name and a favorite memory of water- swimming in it, drinking it, gardening with it, loving rain or snow, anything to do with water that brought you joy.

THEME TODAY Guided meditation and doodling meditation images and prayers

The Spirit of God is often pictured or written about as a mother bird.  Think of these images, for example:

Biblical Mother Bird Images

Mother Dove – The Spirit of God hovered over the waters at creation

-The Spirit descended like a dove on Jesus at his baptism

Mother Hen – Jesus longed to gather Jerusalem under his wings like a mother hen.

Mother eagle – He will bear you up on eagles’ wings

Cultural Mother Bird Image

Mother Goose – the teller/collector of stories, of life experiences, OR a soft, white haven of rest.  Mother Swan carries babies on her back.

Our mistakes, shames, failures, worries, inner knots, and frustrated hopes and dreams, can be transformed by God all the time, over and over again.  In one of my comforting meditations, I threw my mistakes like corn into the sky, to feed a lovely, soft mother goose.  My mistakes became stars in the sky, and I FLEW with the geese!

Today, I’m going to lead us in a guided meditation, where we will choose one mother bird image (or several), and bring our problems, mistakes, inner knots, worries, dreams, and hopes to that motherly figure for comfort, for transformation.




Choose a mother bird figure that feels the most comforting and reassuring.  Imagine that she can actually speak with you and interact with you.  Bring to her whatever feels heavy in you or dreams and hopes not yet realized.  Here are some words to help us speak with the mother bird.  This is a translation based on Jesus’ original language, Aramaic, of one line from the Lord’s Prayer:

And forgive us our debts (trespasses)

as we forgive our debtors (those who trespass against us).

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,

as we release the strands we hold

of others’ guilt.

Forgive our hidden past, the secret shames,

as we consistently forgive

what others hide.

Lighten our load of secret debts as

we relieve others of their

need to repay.

Erase the inner marks our failures make,

just as we scrub our hearts

or others’ faults.

Absorb our frustrated hopes and dreams,

as we embrace those of other

with emptiness.

Untangle the knots within

so that we can mend our hearts’

simple ties to others.

Compost our inner, stolen fruit

as we forgive others the spoils of

their trespassing.

Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,

as we release the strands we hold

of others’ guilt.

Neil Douglas-Klotz, Prayers of the Cosmos, Reflections on the Original Meaning of Jesus’ Words, p.30

I’ll leave us in silence for only a minute or two for your conversation or experience to play out in your imagination, helped on by God’s imagination. When you’re ready…


Now I invite you to doodle any images or important words or ideas that came up during your quiet time. You might want to draw one word or name and doodle around it, like this: (show illustration) Artistic perfection is NOT needed, just have fun! Here are ideas from Praying In Color, Drawing a New Path to God, by Sybil MacBeth

-Start with a shape.

-Add a quality you experienced in meditation or would like to deepen, or the name of someone you’d like to pray for.

-Add details and colors.

Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.   (Mk. 10:15)

“ I think Jesus is asking us, in part, to give up our businesslike concern for the details and to fling ourselves into the open arms of God.”

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Ps 37:4

“When I draw as a way to enter prayer, I get to delight in my prayer and to feel God’s delight that I am making an effort to pray.  Prayer can be my joy and freedom, the place where I get to play in the presence of my Creator, where I get a taste of the glorious liberty of being a child of God.” (Rom. 8:21)


I recognize… a seaworthy vessel when I see one… 

I would like to take your hands for a moment and assure you that you are built well for these times… Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long 

timbers composing your prow and rudder 

come from a greater forest.

Clarissa Pinkole Estes

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