I met Summer at our recent Mary DeMuth Literary retreat. She is a beautiful, peace-filled woman who loves Jesus and the Word of God. Not only does she exude peace in her person, when she speaks, her voice rolls over you like gentle waves of refreshing, bringing a calmness not often found in our go-go-go world.
I was drawn to her unhurriedness, to her intentionality. So when I got home and saw she was offering a pre-lent devotional through the book of John in the twenty-one days in February leading up to Ash Wednesday, I jumped on board.
What is the devotional and how does it “slow down the Word”? I’ll tell you! Each day focuses on a few verses from the chapter of John corresponding to that day. (This is posting on February 8, so today we are in John 8.) You can read the passage and/or the chapter on your own, but the best part is the corresponding Slow Word Movement podcast episode. (This type of sitting with and repetition of the Word is also known as Lectio Divina and has been practiced for centuries.)
Then podcast episode is usually less than 15 minutes, but oh those 15 minutes! Within that time it’s all about getting still before the Lord and really listening to the chosen passage—listening for what the Holy Spirit emphasizes to you, wants to teach you. It’s real immersion in a passage of scripture with time to be still, to not rush the process. And this time to be still before the Lord is built into the podcast!
The joy and peace that come through Summer’s gentle patterns of speech as she reads the Word and asks us to consider what the Spirit is staying to us have settled me each morning. But this is not simply something nice to listen to. It’s time of real communion and communication with the Lord.
If you want to know more about Summer, The Slow Word Movement, and The Presence Project, check out her website here: https://www.athirstforgod.com/slow-word-movement/
And if you want to listen to one of The Slow Word podcasts, they are on all the platforms. Here’s an episode to try: