William Evans was with Jeremiah Hacker in North Carolina on a missionary visit. Beside him in the gallery sat a Friend in a bright blue coat with brass buttons.  After meeting, William Evans said,  "I have been troubled as we sat together by the style and color of thy coat. Is it right for one who sits at the head of the meeting to wear such a coat?"

    The man replied, "Since thee has spoken so, it opens the way for me to tell thee that I have been much troubled by thy clothes. They are plain to be sure, but of very expensive broadcloth.  I am a poor man, too poor to buy a coat, and this one was given to me."

Charles, Helen White.  (ed.)  Quaker Chuckles.   1961.  The Cullen Printing Company.  Ohio.  pp 116-117.

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Noticing that Watts'  "Clothe Yourself in Righteousness" is back on the list this week.  I listened to it for the first time and found it beautiful.  So maybe that sums up the lesson, Clothe Thyself in Righteousness".

Well, Rick, sometimes when  our comments get ignored, it may not be personal.  Having this massive thing in front of us, this, this, INTERNET, so much information comes at us, so fast, that it is like trying to have a conversation with every fish in the ocean, and we might forget to greet a fish or two.  That's why I said, when I started on QuakerQuaker that I didn't and still don't expect to have real friendships online. I quoted from the old short story, "The Machine" at that time,  in which the early 20th century author imagined a dystopia where humans lived in isolated cells, connecting through what was clearly a vision of the Internet.  So if I have offended or ignored anyone I am sorry. There are people who come right out and tell you that you are excluded though, and those I say goodbye to. Hey, my own sister just cut me out of her life the other day! I certainly don't expect online friendships to be any stronger!  People come and people go, and that's just how it is.

Thanks Jeanette for the historical perspective.  I used to like Modern Modest, well I suppose I still do like it.  But, as I said, let's face it I LOVE clothes!  I LOVE fashion!  I am no longer part of any spiritual group, I have no outward pressures to please or represent a fellowship group, or any support from such a group or any hopes of spiritual community, and I know that my love of beauty does not offend God.   .   . so.    .    . I will continue to adore fashion. 

Well, That is so true, Laura.  I hold no ill will.. I anything, it makes me value those ones (You, Olivia..etc.)

even more. I do know for sure that God is big enough to love us all and that no one( ignoring, excluding) has a monopoly on that.

I know there is a Presence, comforter... not only for me but for everyone.  I found that out Jan. 2013 when I suffered a heart attack in the widow maker artery. Complete blockage for over 3 hrs. I am, according to the Dr.'s, a walking miracle. I have never done anything to deserve being a miracle.  The Presence, Comforter, Jesus or all the above was right beside me through the whole thing.  I could feel the presence just as real as I feel this key-board now... more so.  The feeling, comfort, peace I had/have is too Great for words.  I now have 40% heart function and more time to love those I hold dear and learn to love those that I have a hard tie loving.  But, hey, with 40% function, think of all the jokes I can tell.... like " I'm doing this job half heartedly"  or " ill do it but my whole heart is not in it"  Heck, I a lot better off than Tony Bennett..

He left his heart in san Francisco.

wow, Rick, I didn't know that you went through that!   That is what people say, that experience that Presence when near death, that it is indescribable!  Also that the "other side" feels so much more real than this one, that this side seems like the illusion.  My father always said we shouldn't be mean to people, because we don't know the burdens they are carrying.  I have this old VCR tape I got for fifty cents at a thrift store, with Jack Kornfield teaching on forgiveness from a Buddhist perspective.  And one of the phrases he uses concerns the "Ten Thousand Sorrows of Others".  Well I watched it over and over when I was working on forgiveness, and now I can't bear to watch it anymore or I will start feeling compassion for the Ten Thousand Sorrows of the rocks on the road, that is, it worked on me to help me with forgiveness, and I don't want to overdose on compassion or I will melt if I watch it one more time.  Anyway, you are still here, but you must have to take it somewhat easy at times, though, huh?  I had forgotten that old song.   Leaving the heart in San Francisco.    So, it has been a little over a year since your experience with the widow maker.    .   Well, here you are, then ready to enjoy another summer.  Do you know the song "Youth of a Thousand Summers" by Van Morrison.  He makes you go skipping, he makes you go dancing, the Youth of a Thousand Summers in My soul.

Yep.. still here.  I have another 60% to 80% blockage but according to Dock, I have a better chance at more time as is than recovery from a procedure.  Yep.. we are not alone ( I knew it but now I know it )

Still here, more sensitive, more emotional a greater  love to work with and be around plants.

The place and Comforter are so very real.  Actually, in recovery, after the family had their few minutes with me and were ushered out, a great sadness, longing, disappointment came over me... I realized I wanted that feeling again.  I think I stayed because of my grand-daughters.  They need me a bit longer.

Yep.... big Van Fan

I hesitate to talk about my whole experience... but If anyone says " I have God and you don't" to you or me or to anyone.. They are on the wrong track.  AND I don't care if they kick me off this site for saying so.

Rick, Thee means the longing, disappointment about being back here?  My own commitment to life is based primarily on a desire to be here fro my grandchildren as well.  For my own self, stay or go, comfortable either way.  I doubt anyone would kick thee off QuakerQuaker, I think one has to be awfully naughty to be kicked off here.  I don't blame thee for wanting to talk about the whole experience, because often when people do try to do that, they get nay-sayed and told they are imagining it or something from all directions and doesn't Jesus tell us not to throw Pearls at Swine?  I think He said that anyway.

Yes. In recovery I knew I was going to stay on this side and so much of me wanted to go.



Rick Massengale said:

Yes. In recovery I knew I was going to stay on this side and so much of me wanted to go.

I think I figured out how to reply to the person, individually and not just add to the discussion!  That's what I hear, that people realize they are going to be staying in the body and they only accept it with some reluctance.  The Journal "Parabola" is featuring "embodiment" as its theme this quarter.  It is a bit expensive so I haven't picked it up yet, but it is a topic, that interests me much as I grow older and adjust to the aging of my body and my understanding that I will die, something I understand very concretely now, whereas it was only a vague abstraction when I was younger. It is not something I fear, but it is something that makes me want to use my energies and resources properly, that I might complete whatever service I am supposed to do, and also enjoy some earthly things that are sort of on my "bucket list".

Wow, this conversation has taken an unexpected turn!!!  Laura, I don't think that you have been cast entirely adrift or have cast yourself adrift!  You seem well rooted in the (or a) Quaker heritage.

I would like to believe that a living faith community will show up on your horizon, and that it might be a Quaker faith community!  To some extent QuakerQuaker may, for the time being, be the community I am talking about.

My wife and I were cast out of our Quaker faith community; our right of membership was withdrawn without our consent.  They said that we were no longer interested in the Society of Friends, which was quite far-fetched!  It is true that we had some "irreconcilable differences" with that particular meeting.

A new Mennonite fellowship in the neighborhood accepted us as refugees, and they have cared for our souls ever since.  We have not become official members because, deep down in our hearts, we remained Friends.  My wife died, descended from many generations of Friends, but not an official member anywhere.  I can testify that she was, as were her ancestors, a learner in the school of Christ!  (She is buried in the Mennonite cemetery.)

So, if you can't find a Friends meeting "on the same wave length", you may have to seek out a compatible Christian fellowship of a related denomination.

 

Thanks for sharing that with me, Friend.  I don't know if I have ever talked with a modern person who has been "read out of meeting".   That's troubling.  Anyway, I do whine in my impatience to get grounded somewhere at the same time I enjoy great freedom. So the tensions reflect my own inner conflict and outward circumstances.  Right now, I am going from place to place to help different family members who need me and I also get to travel and have a lot of fun.  I am in kind of a limbo place and have made it clear in my prayer that I will keep moving or stay put according to how I am called.  A lot of my indecision has to do with waiting on circumstances out of my control. Just today I was reminding myself of all the times answered prayer and new directions came in a way not expected and not according to my own machinations.  I deeply respect the Mennonite tradition and I have spoken with several Friends who became Mennonites, often due to geographical issues.  We have a large Amish community in Montana, also Mennonites, and a group of Amish who, if I understand correctly, after moving to Montana have separated some from Amish traditions.  You sound highly educated, I must say.  I feel if anything, I would feel more alone than ever in any sort of community with values and practices that tend to center on particular roles for women.  Although I wanted to embrace those roles, I was forced out of them, and now having survived on my own, lived on my own most of my adult life, achieving higher education,  and finding such things as traditional marriage quite unappealing, I just don't think I would fit in now.  Oh sure, I could fake it.  In fact, I did fake an outward form of spiritual practice so well for some time that I even fooled myself!  In general, I much prefer my solitude, and that refers to not only spiritual community, but recreational activities and any sort of spending time with other people at all.   One gets used to and loses interest in human contact, so that's how it is.   Thanks for thy comments though.

Hello again, Laura!

There is also an Old German Baptist fellowship in Montana, consisting mostly of transplanted Californians, I think.  They are located in the Ronan area.  I know at least a few of them.

I believe that they would be very hospitable, should you choose to visit them.  One can attend a German Baptist church without becoming a member, though they may wonder after a while why you don't take the plunge!

Bill

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