'The Blossoming of an idea'
by Ginny Nilsen
Eugene, Oregon March 8, 2008
I would like to share the history and spiritual unfoldment that has resulted in making this column, From Heart to Heart, an anticipated contribution to the hearts and Saturdays of so many readers, for the last five years.
First, the idea to have a newspaper column on spirituality, highlighting the writer's personal experiences with Spirit, came to me for a number of years. To bring spiritual discourse into the mainstream of daily news seemed to be an important "next step" to me in promoting a healthy and safe community. I listened for God to tell me what to do. At first it was only an acknowledgment of the thought. Then I began hearing supportive reasoning for what would become the body of my proposal to the interfaith board and The Register Guard.
A column like this could foster deeper community engagement and unity, spiritual and interfaith dialogue, provide a clearer understanding of the power of prayer as practiced in many different faiths, and an opportunity to realize some of the differences between spirituality and religion. I saw that the endeavor could bring inspiration, hope, and an identification with others when readers related to an article through their own spiritual experiences. Also, an awareness of the power of unity to strengthen our community after the divisive events of 9/11 was certainly needed.
While on the board of what's now called the Lane Interfaith Alliance, the day came when I typed out a proposal for the column to The Register Guard, believing that this would bless the newspaper as much as it would the community. It was three weeks before I received a response via e-mail. The editors had talked over the proposal and, to my delight, they said yes to the idea and even included the words that, "we believe it would be a benefit for the newspaper as well as the community." I sat at my computer in awe of God's ever-revealing omniscience and the acknowledgment of all those necessary years of prayerful listening and support for the perfect timing of the proposal's acceptance: spiritual gestation.
When the first meeting was announced to the interfaith community explaining the purpose of the column and offering the invitation to write for it, twenty-four people came. (Another moment of awe.) Some were religious leaders in the community but most were people who simply cared about interfaith understanding and the importance of spiritual beliefs being shared with one another. Four people volunteered to edit in order to help The Register Guard carry through with the publication process. These people have made it so easy for me to use my time to find writers and do the scheduling. I see their talented editing, formatting, and finalizing of each piece with the writers before sending it on to The Register Guard's religion page editor. We appreciate the creative titles that are supplied by the RG staff.
I am happy to see what can happen by cherishing a good idea and not underestimating that everything needed for its blessing and fulfillment will be provided in just the right way.