Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Welcome to The Dry Well

A friend was telling me about her experience with spiritual dryness, and though I had been walking down this road for almost 20 years and was beginning to come out the other side, I realized that I wasn't doing a great job of encouraging her or helping her make sense of what God was doing. I went online to see what others were saying and found a lot of individual articles, but there were few opportunities on these sites for dialogue.

Spiritual dryness is a universal experience for those who persist in following God, but every story is unique because God is so intensely personal in the way he leads each individual to deeper faith. I created this site because I want to see God's creativity in the ways he has led others to himself through spiritual dryness. I felt very alone during my years in darkness, and I also wish to be an encouragement to those who need help recognizing the good God is doing. Some priorities for The Dry Well:
Ecumenical: I am grateful for the guidance I have received from Roman Catholic writers, who have written most extensively on this subject. I desire for this website to be a meeting place for Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox.
Biblical: There are many ways that the bible reflects on God's perceived absence - from the cries of Job, to many Psalms of David, to Simeon's prayer at the temple with the baby Jesus. I wish to come to a thoroughly biblical perspective of spiritual dryness.
Rooted in Our Humanity: We must learn how to live and love like Jesus, whose life demonstrates how we are to be fully human. I believe that God helps us become more human through the process of spiritual dryness, so I have included a number of pages in the right column under "Reasons for Spiritual Dryness" that discuss the impact of emotional wounds, physiological issues, chronic illness, etc. We are physical, emotional and spiritual beings, and anything that affects these areas affects the way we see God and ourselves.
The Importance of Community: We are also relational beings, and it is essential that we remain in rooted in a church community. Our primary experience of God's love should come from the care we receive from other believers.
The Work of the Holy Spirit: In our search for "spiritual intimacy" and a "personal relationship with God," we can easily get derailed by spiritual ideals that are fueled by our cultural values instead of by God's Word. I believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is the spiritual intimacy we desire, but we must allow scripture to inform who he is and how he relates to us, the church, and the world.
I would love to hear your thoughts about any page or article, or you are welcome to email me with your story.


The name of this site is taken from Thomas Green's When the Well Runs Dry, who named his book after an illustration from St. Theresa of Avila's Autobiography. I never met Fr. Green before he passed away in 2009, but I am grateful for his insight during some of my most difficult years.

The cover image is from the bottom of St. Patrick's Well in Orvieto, Italy (used with permission).