Contemporary Scripture Reflections for Spiritual Seekers
Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, BCC, PCC
July 26th , 2020
"Unhired Hand"
Woman Dreamer
Elizabeth-Anne Stewart, 1989

I am looking for a corner
of the vineyard,
for a small patch
of untilled land,
stony, barren,
in need of care.
I am looking for
an unassuming plot
where the laborers are few
and the grapes grow wild,
shriveled and bitter.
My skirts are hitched,
my sleeves rolled up
and I carry fork, hoe,
shears for pruning
and a great willingness
to brave both fierce heat
and heavy rains
for the harvest's sake.

I am looking, still looking,
sunburned and sore,
feet blistered from the trudge
between one field and the next,
but the message
is always,
"No Hired Hands Wanted"

and I keep on looking...


Out of Your Comfort Zone
Infinity Foundation, Highland Park, IL
Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
1:00-4:00 p.m.
*virtual presentation

Decoding the Archetypes that Drive Us
Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL
Thursday, Sept. 24th, 2020
7:00-8:30 p.m.
*virtual presentation

Imagery and Spiritual Awakening
Institute for Life Coach Training
 Wednesdays, Sept.23-Oct.28
5:00-6:30 p.m. CT
*virtual 10 hour course

Balancing Archetypes
Theosophical Society, Wheaton, IL
Saturday, Sept. 26th, 2020
2:00-5:00 p.m.
*To be re-scheduled virtually

Beyond God
The Well Spirituality Center , LaGrange Park, IL
October 24, 2020
*re-scheduled as a virtual presentation


Since so many people have lost their means of livelihood, I am offering life coaching to those dealing with career transitions. You can check out my Resiliency Assessment Tool on the home page of my new website:

FYI: My main websites remain

Greetings, Readers!

Is there a "buried treasure" to be found in our experience of COVID-19? In addition to having to practice "social distancing," many have lost jobs or seen their businesses fail, while others have endured serious illness or lost loved ones to the pandemic. Every sector of society has been affected by this virus: couples have had to postpone weddings, students have missed out on internships or graduation celebrations, homeowners cannot keep up with mortgage payments, athletes have lost opportunities to compete, farmers have fewer corporate customers, front-line employees are at risk every time they go to work ... In short, the whole fabric of society has changed. Add to the mix peaceful protests, violent conflicts and increasing divisions between people along political lines and we have a recipe for emotional disaster.

All of us are at risk, from the residents of retirement homes who are unable to have visitors to school kids who miss their friends and are disappointed about cancelled summer activities. There are those who have already sunk into depression and those who have taken their own lives. Only the strong can get through these times -- or those who aren't very strong who will survive only if others help prop them up!

More than ever, we have need of that "buried treasure," that experience of God's Presence that we can access whenever we pray or practice love. Just as the buried treasure is hidden in the field, so there is a treasure hidden in our experience right now: the invitation to live more deeply and compassionately, to rely on God for our strength, and to find ways of practicing the Beatitudes regardless of our circumstances. If we're feeling lost in these tumultuous times, maybe we need to dig a little deeper ...

Many Blessings!

PS Try my spiritual self-assessment tool! After you take the Quiz, you will automatically receive a computer-generated diagram and explanatory comments regarding your strengths and "growing edges." I hope you find the Quiz useful!



Jesus said to his disciples:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field, which someone finds and hides again,
and joyfully sells all that he has to buy that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he sells all that he has to buy it.”
MT 13: 44-46

Today's parables remind us that the Kingdom of God is worth everything-- not just money but our whole-hearted commitment, even if we have to resort to deviousness or spend all we have for the sake of the treasure. The person who sells the field is clueless about the value of the property. Perhaps the land is stony and poorly irrigated, causing the landowner to imagine that he or she has just made a bargain. "What a fool!" the landowner might chuckle to friends and family. "Not much farming sense but his loss is my gain!" Unbeknownst to the former landowner, the scrubby parcel of land conceals unimaginable wealth. As for the pearl of great price, the merchant is aware of the value of the pearl and is willing to pay everything for it.

It's interesting to juxtapose the actions and attitudes of the characters in these two parables. The landowner who sells the field judges by appearances and sees no value to the plot; meanwhile, the person who buys the field sees potential ("the treasure") and deliberately takes advantage of the seller. In contrast, the pearl seller knows the value of pearl of great price and is willing to sell it-- for a fair price-- to the merchant who has carefully assessed the value of the pearl. Both the pearl seller and the merchant enter into a "good faith" transaction, without any duplicity.

If the landowner had any idea of of the field's real value, would he or she have sold it? Can you imagine what it would be like to learn that the "fool" who bought the plot is now the wealthiest person in town? Can you imagine the heartache and frustration, the self-recrimination and the anger? Sadly, each of us owns a field with a "buried treasure" but we tend to be oblivious to our wealth. Instead of rejoicing in our treasure, we ignore it, forget about it, take it for granted, and even dishonor it. Instead, we go seeking treasure in other places, always thinking that the next material acquisition, or career move, or relationship, or "peak experience" will bring happiness. And so it is, then, that we devote all our time, energy and resources to making money so that we can buy more, do more, have more when the only "treasure" that will satisfy is the treasure within.

What is it that distracts us? Why is it that we become consumed with material goals at the expense of our spiritual well-being? Like the landowner, we fail to see what is really important; unlike the merchant, we lack commitment and conviction.

  1. Is the Kingdom of God buried in your field and what can you do to make it grow?
  2. What are you willing to spend on the Pearl of Great Price?
  3. How do the parables of the Kingdom help you understand Jesus' mission and the meaning of discipleship?
  4. With which of the characters in Matt 13:44-46 do you identify the most fully?
If you have canceled your retreat because of COVID-19, you may want to think about a virtual alternative. I will be available for customized group or individual "virtual retreats" (by phone or Zoom) from May 15-August 15. Please contact me by email for more information. Thank you!
This video explains my approach to this ministry, while my website provides further details as well. I work "in person" as well as remotely by phone, Zoom or Skype; I am also available to facilitate retreats for groups and individuals.
Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Stewart | |

C. All Photos by Elizabeth-Anne Stewart,