My spiritual director has what feels like go-to questions. She’s too experienced to use go-to questions. In reality, she listens to me and to the Spirit and follows those cues.

Her questions hover with where I am. What they really show are the basic questions I keep needing to return to, revisit, and re-hear. They repeat because I’m still needing to hear them.

The particular question–because there are a few that occur to me in this way which I’ve scribbled into my soul over our eight years together–is “And, Michael, what do you need?”

I can hear the questions the way I can hear my breathing. Usually after running or exercising or working hard, I hear what’s been there, unacknowledged and unnoticed. I hear my breathing. The questions are like that. The longer I’m in direction the more this happens: I find Lucy’s words coming up. She is a means of grace in that way. God speaks through her to me. And I’ve been hearing that question. Michael, what do you need?

It turns all my energy, energy I often direct toward being good for others, ministering to others, caring for others in the church, home, and hospital–all that meaningful energy comes to me in a question. It’s hard to pay that kind of attention to yourself when you serve others. Until you have to. Sometimes you don’t realize you have to until it comes up in a good question.

So, here it is for us: what do you need?

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