I continue to try to introduce the spiritual practice of lectio divina to our youth in ways that might hook their attention. This past weekend, while on our mission trip to Nashville, we had a short time of worship and meditation on Saturday morning before heading out to work. I invited the youth to sit together around a table and gave each of them pen and paper. I told them I would read through the scripture passage, the story of Zacchaeus, several times. The first time they were just to listen to the text and absorb it. But during the next repeated readings, I invited them to use the paper to jot down or draw words, ideas, or images that jumped out to them from the text.
Some chose to do nothing, but others sketched pictures, wrote reflections, or made lists of words. One youth created the image you see to the right (click to see larger image), a pseudo-example of "concrete poetry" in which the poem takes the shape of its theme (can you see Zacchaeus hanging out in his tree?). At the end of the process, we invited youth to share what they had written or drawn or thought about during the readings.
This approach to lectio divina would be particularly useful with youth who are not audio learners and need visual or tactile stimuli.