Caleb Aaron Smith D.Min.
This portfolio begins by way of a spiritual autobiography to explore how the Lord has introduced me to different kinds of beauty, in an effort to bring about transformative beauty in my own life. These include the beauty of nature, as I grew up in New Zealand; the beauty of people that I worked or worshiped with in South Africa; but also, the unexpected beauty of pain and struggle, that I experienced in Chicago IL. In each of these places, I find the Lord forming and shaping me, but also bringing healing, for the fear and anxiety which I had experienced for much of my life.
The next chapter in the format of a spiritual formation manual, then explores five dimensions of spiritual formation and healing and is geared especially for believers who similarly struggle with anxiety. Paul identifies three of these dimensions in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, where he refers to the “sanctification of body, soul and spirit.” The dimensions of community (or the social dimension) and further, nature or God’s creation are also explored.
My final chapter, by way of a field research report, then places further emphasis on the dimension of nature, through a spiritual practice called Scripture and Nature Immersion (SNI). Following my research, I suggest that SNI can assist with the following: 1. redirecting participants thoughts from rumination of adverse situations to meditating on the Lord and his various divine attributes; 2. aiding participants in changing their negative emotions and moods into positive ones.