“Wisdom has built her house. She has sent out her young women to call
from the highest places in the town.” (Proverbs 9:1, 3 English Standard Version)
Week 2 – Chapter 1 of The Star in My heart
This week we begin reading The star in My Heart by Joyce Rupp. In chapter 1, also titled “The Star in My Heart,” Rupp traces her journey of finding Sophia/wisdom, during a difficult time and learns that dark times can also be times of growth.
Reading and Reflecting
Read chapter 1 all the way through. Then read it again, pondering the reflection questions as you read. Respond in your journal or with artwork.
1. The author talks about her affinity for stars, calling them her “earth companions.” They draw her to a “greater truth” that she doesn’t yet know or understand.
– With what do you feel an affinity? What in nature gives you comfort and consolation? What could you learn from the dependability of nature that the seasons always come and go?
– What about nature’s undependability? What can we learn from how the natural world responds to storms and calamities?
2. Rupp declares that no matter how much light she carries, there are always times of darkness, confusion, and despair.
– What has shown up in your life as “darkness”? Illness? Broken relationships? Loss of a loved one? Hopelessness? Worries?
3. The author recalls a time when she felt lost, alone, sad, and confused. It turned out to be a time that revealed the presence of wisdom in her life.
– Can you recall times of darkness in your life from which you eventually learned something or grew in some way?
– When you are in times of darkness, what helps you get through it? What might you do to learn from darkness?
4. Rupp says that while we need times of solitude for the inner journey, in times of darkness we also need a companion to walk with us.
– Who in your life is a companion you can call on in the dark times?
– Do you do that easily, or does something hesitate in you? Can you name what that is? How might you overcome it?
5. The author might have subtitled this chapter “Seeking Wisdom.”
– Where do you turn for guidance in difficult times or times of decision-making?
– If a good friend were seeking guidance from you, where would you point him or her for answers?
Scripture for this week
3 For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3 a time to kill and a time to heal;
a time to break down and a time to build up;
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
5 a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
6 a time to seek and a time to lose;
a time to keep and a time to throw away;
7 a time to tear and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
8 a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace. (NRSV)
What part does wisdom play in all of these seasons?
Practices for the Week:
– Starting with the image the scripture presents to you, write in your journal, compose a poem, or create art (draw, paint, play with Play-Doh or some Legos.) See what reveals itself to you as you create.
– Find a comfortable and safe place in nature – it can be your own backyard – and spend some time immersed in your surroundings. What stands out to you? What do you see that has special meaning for you? What feels fruitful? Does it offer any wisdom for you? (You can do this at night with stars if you wish.)
A Poem from John O’Donohue
blessed be the longing that brought you here
and quickens your soul with wonder.
may you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
that disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.
may you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
to discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.
may the forms of your belonging – in love, creativity, and friendship –
be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.
may the one you long for long for you.
may your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.
may a secret providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.
may your mind inhabit your life with the sureness
with which your body inhabits the world.
may your heart never be haunted by ghost-structures of old damage.
may you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.
may you know the urgency with which God longs for you.
From To Bless the Space Between Us