Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
I had a very special week among Friends at Ohio Yearly Meeting. I have made many new fFriends and worshipped in two different meetinghouses. I have come home with new pamphlets, new insights, renewed spirit.
At the heart of the week, for me, was a vision of our future:
The wonderful little son of Laura Katherine--Noah, aged 2--playing basketball,
...with the clerk of Ohio Yearly Meeting,
...and the clerk of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.
Paula - thank thee for this posting. On the way home, Thomas and I discussed the special bond that Philadelphia and Ohio YMs have had historically. It was strained in the mid-20th century.
Thomas and I have become close colleagues - it is good to have a colleague to discuss clerkship matters with who knows the challenges of being behind the table. He teases me about getting married off, and I tease him about getting married off, which lightens the load we both share in this phase of our individual lives.
Oh, I'd marry you both, and also Kevin, who made me an offer. ;D
Seriously, this is where my heart lies: in uniting us all in God's love. I exclude nobody who wants to be part of God's beloved community. I do not judge anyone's spiritual journey, if for no other reason than mine began from a place that was largely a blank canvas. I am at my happiest when I meet Friends and make an instant connection, sensing God has been holding us together since before we met.
When I read this, our "vision of the future" was pantsless and wearing his swim goggles inside and yelling about being "bad guy Spiderman," so I had to shudder a bit for the future of the Friends!
But more seriously, that moment was such a beautiful one for me for so many reasons. Thank you for this message. I find it so touching and meaningful that two clerks felt like playing with a visiting child was worth their time. I would have expected the "clerk-ish" attitude to be that they had important business to tend to and were too busy/important to play, and I found it so heartening and meaningful and loving that they played with Noah with such love and so fully in the moment. That was a moment for me where I realized that this truly was a "beloved community." And also that Seth and Thomas are just awesome people :)
Just for the record, Laura Katherine was not talking about me in what she posted in her first paragraph.
I initially started playing with Noah to make it easier for LK to eat. It seems that small opportunities to help someone else come before us with some regularity, but we do not act on them because we have something else that seems more important. These little things sometimes can help keep people on healthy spiritual roads, avoiding the temptation to believe that no one cares about their welfare. Often it seems that leadings well carried out bring blessings to everyone involved.
My vision of the future of Friends included the entire situation, not just young Noah. And I felt that my vision would still hold as long as you and/or Thomas were not similarly attired and joining the dark side. Thank thee for clarifying, Friend. :)
And thank thee for thy wise counsel. I will remember it.
Yours standing in the cross, Paula