Singular, Quiet Questioning

Each month, we post a series of blogs around a common topic. This fall we’ve asked a number of leaders to respond to the question, “What is saving your ministry right now?” We invite you to join the conversation here, on Facebook, or Twitter!

By Gary Swaim

A painting by Gary Swaim

Crux by Gary Swaim

At age 81, I’ve been on a rich, extended pilgrimage. I’ve experienced the usual twists and turns of life, but there’s always been a single light and my focus. The light would occasionally flicker somewhat, and my attention would wane, but even when the light turned dimmer, or seemed to, it held me. My ministry (watching or looking for the light) moved from one rooted in a juvenile, outspoken certainty to one more internalized, quiet, and questioning.

My ministry reversed its locus from external to internal, changing almost everything about me.

In time I would learn that the external could not be authentic until it grew from an internal drive and understanding. And, for some twenty-five years or so now, I have lived (or tried to live) the singular spiritual life, with a reasonable quietness and a questioning spirit. I have long ago left the life of parroting others. I have tried to go deeply into the self to find truths and the light, then to come out into the public with my writing (poems, plays, fiction), painting, and university teaching. In these endeavors and with my deeply committed Christian community I can fulfill my mission.

GarySwaim_webGary Swaim is a ruling elder in Irving, TX. He is a professor in the Master of Liberal Studies program at Southern Methodist University of Dallas. He teaches playwriting, the writing of both poetry and fiction, creativity, and studies in diverse interdisciplinary courses. More recently, he has added digital painting to his efforts, professionally. To learn more about Gary’s work, visit his website.

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