Who doesn’t want to feel loved? Who doesn’t want to feel REAL connection to people and not just be a passerby in the grocery store, the bar, the shopping center, the gym, or even in church? The desire for intimacy is one of the most fundamental human needs.
This meeting is an opportunity to examine more closely our strong desire for intimacy.
As with all powerful desires, there are two sides of it. On one hand, we are designed for intimacy with God and made for human community. On the other hand, societal pressures make us think that it has to be earned, deserved, and expressed in very narrow and sometimes unfulfilling ways. We long for healthy fulfilling intimacy but we often settle for less in an effort to at least get close to it.
- Handouts of the “Longing for Intimacy” reading
- Stream of consciousness handouts
- Hard surfaces for writing
- Meditation music
Ask for the grace to identify how our longing for intimacy informs our daily decisions.
Name an example of someone you saw on TV this week that was seeking intimacy.
Introduce the topic of the evening by inviting members to read the article “Longing for Intimacy.” Have the group reflect on their reactions to the article.
Stream of Consciousness Writing. With meditation music playing, invite members to take some silent reflection to write on the questions in the handout. Reiterate that there are no right answers and full sentences or punctuation are not necessary. Encourage members to listen to their natural responses and instincts upon reading the statements. Encourage them to allow their pens to flow without judgment.
- Which questions drew you? Which questions challenged you?
- Any new insights, repetition or deepening of prior ‘ah hah moments’?
- Any area you feel invited to return to later for more reflection?
- What is remaining with you from this prayer?
- What has struck you as you have been listening to others share? Do you notice any patterns or commonalities?
- How have you been feeling throughout the meeting? Comfortable? Anxious? Curious?
- Is there anything you would like to share after listening to another person share?
Pay attention to the ways you express intimacy this week. Allowed yourself to be surprised.
Consider utilizing one of the Scripture passages below as you offer the needs and desires that emerged from the group’s sharing.
“This law of love, which the Spirit inscribes in our hearts, expresses itself anew in each situation of our daily lives.” (CLC-USA General Principles #2)
“For everyone ought to reflect that in all spiritual matters, the more one divests oneself of self-love, self-will, and self-interests, the more progress one will make.” (Spiritual Exercises )
“God our Lord knows our nature infinitely better than we do.” (Spiritual Exercises )
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5
“He said to the disciples…’Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest?” Luke 12:22-26
“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “Plans for your welfare and not for your harm to give you a future full of hope.” Jeremiah 29:11