“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke's words were a memorable game-changer for Chris decades ago when she found herself struggling with the disconnects between the church and Jesus, American Christianity and global realities, male god images and life as a woman. The quote helped her to embrace her questions, and she began to dig deeper, shedding fear of being confronted with difficult or wonderful answers.
This journey helped her to engage more deeply with the beauty and pain of the world. She traveled extensively, lived in Palestine for three years doing advocacy work, and engaged in anti-racism training and initiatives in the U.S., with the desire to confront injustice in her own life and community.
Chris engaged with with women and other marginalized groups doing (or undoing) theology, and started a women's group that has continued to meet monthly for about a decade, sharing their lives in intentional community. Chris later went to seminary to engage in her struggles with how the bible is read and used, and she developed a resource for dismantling patriarchy in the church, highlighting the necessity of the Feminine Divine. During this time, she also gained valuable church leadership experience in the Mennonite tradition.
Discontent with the disconnect between spirit and the body/whole self, as she had experienced in her faith journey, Chris began practicing Reiki.
Chris nurtured her inner artist, and presented her messy, empowered faith journey through her art.
Through all of this, Chris noticed that authentic sharing offers space and empowerment for others to be more authentic. In order to honor this sacred exchange, Chris underwent spiritual direction training, to be able to responsibly companion others on their own journeys.
In being able to befriend her questions, frustrations, and desires, Chris has lived into a place where she seeks to "live everything," knowing that there is no place we can be that is beyond the reach of Divine Love.
She practices deep attention to all that is as a way of being in the world. It is birthed in silence but calls for wise and active engagement.
Though we are living in difficult times, Chris finds hope in change that is occurring because people are doing the work of listening deeply to their lives and their relationship to the world. Many are responding by choosing life-giving paths. Chris' desire is to be a midwife for justice work, positioned to accompany individuals and groups in these transformational processes. She believes that her life experience and training has helped prepare her for this work.
If you are interested in knowing the details of her credentials and experience, click here.
[All images on this site were produced by Chris Hoover Seidel, and may not be used without permission.]