Just finished reading Andrew Mayes' "Beyond the Edge: Spiritual Transitions for Adventurous Souls". I was struck by a number of things, but not least his use of the John 4 story of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman by the well as a model for spiritual direction. Jesus is hot, tired and thirsty - but makes time to address the needs of this woman. Mayes suggests that we can identify eight indicators that point to a good practice of spiritual direction.
First, Jesus places himself beside the woman. It is a question of accompaniment.
Second, Jesus speaks with directness. He is straight and to the point.
Third, Jesus affirms the woman as someone worthy of bearing the living water of the Spirit. He sees her value.
Fourth, Jesus allows her to ask questions. This is about engaging, not about just giving answers.
Fifth, Jesus challenges her. Jesus knows she can move on and tries to get her thinking about that.
Sixth, Jesus speaks the truth. There is no avoiding sensitive issues.
Seventh, Jesus teaches her.
And eighth, Jesus empowers us. This is about equipping her to go and do what God is calling her to do.