The memoir concludes with an adaptation of a piece published twenty years ago in the inaugural issue of the journal Quaker Theology.
“Peace and Nonviolence”: Part 14 of “The Life of the Spirit” in Quaker Faith & Practice for the 21st Century
[W]ithin us is a relational spirit that “never consents” to selfishness. That holy spirit, which we tend to repress, constantly critiques our attitudes and actions, … wanting to awaken us to the divine power and wisdom waiting in our hearts.
We still live under the God of war, not the Prince of Peace. … The “ocean of darkness” is disheartening, but I find courage in the example of those Friends who, despite the failure of the eschaton, never forsook their commitment to the spirit of justice and peace….
Does Quaker spirituality subsist in our climbing a path to peak experience? Are we essentially seekers, our living the divine life deferred as we seek the summit? George Fox would answer those questions with an emphatic “No!”
We may initially come to religion in flight from pain, but the image of Christ in the “doubting Thomas” story warns us that to flee from love’s wounds is to flee from “the way, the truth, and the life.”
The now opens into the new: in any and every moment, you may see the day dawn and the day star arise in your heart ….
Quakerism is a religion of the New Covenant, which means that it is religion of the heart — the broken heart. We enter the New Covenant when our heart is changed.
Sometimes, allowing the text to subside into silence, we hear the weak cry of Christ’s Lazarus who lies bleeding at our gate, and our hearts begin to crack, to break open.
In observance of National Poetry Month, I offer the following transcription of vocal ministry from December 29, 1991 (reprinted from my journal). I hope to follow it soon with another post on the topic of “the turning of the wheel.” Images and quotations have come together for me this morning, bringing with them reflections on…