Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Light


Light

The imagery of light is a beautiful thing. The concept of God shining within, as a Light to guide our lives, speaks to me. I am currently reading the book I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai, one of the recipients of this year's Nobel Peace Prize. In one part, she was describing how her father struggled to keep his school open because of the imam, who did not believe in educating girls. Her grandfather made the comment to her father that he needed to continue in his quest to “be a star in the sky of knowledge.”

As I thought about that image, its beauty really struck me. That lovely, small star, surrounded by darkness, is a thing of beauty, displacing the darkness. If we consider every kind action or word as a pinpoint of light, like that star, dispelling the darkness of the world, then we don't have to be so worried that the darkness will prevail. Imagine a clear night with a star-filled sky. Then think about how beautiful the world can be if everyone lets the Light of God shine through their actions and words.

Our Meeting has been reading John Woolman's Journal, and he is one of my new heroes. He saw darkness in the slavery of the times, but spoke about it to Quaker slave owners in such a way that his personal conviction rather than harsh words caused them to think. He traveled to England, and saw the misery of the poor, and tried to dispel that darkness, setting an example to the affluent by experiencing some of the misery of the poor and speaking about it.

So, as I go through the days ahead, I will remember the image of the star, and try to speak kindly, help those I am able, and be aware of how my life can shine God's light into the world. Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is at hand.” It's up to us to show it to the world. We are His stars, shining His Light.

One of my yoga teachers used to close every class with the statement, “The light within me worships and bows down to the light within you.” I would like to express gratitude to everyone who has shown that Light to me or to the world.


Karen

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Awareness

Once a month, Charleston Friends read queries at the beginning of Meeting for Worship, for reflection and perhaps sharing.  This past Sunday the queries related to "Awareness" - I'll post the actual queries later if I can find them :-)

What's stayed with me these past couple of days, since Quaker Meeting, is a feeling, a warm embrace of my moment-to-moment existence and connection to other people and the world around me.

We Quakers often speak of the Spirit, and of the movement of the Spirit.  We testify to the reality of the "parallel universe" that is present and among us (us humans, all of us!) and in us, all the time, there to be noticed whenever and wherever.

This morning it seems to me that all of our Quaker testimonies, all of our "distinctives,"  all of our sense of who we are as Friends, can be traced back historically and spiritually to our sense of the importance of Awareness:  awareness of the Divine, awareness of the movement of the Spirit, awareness of the Still Small Voice.  We have used a variety of words and phrases over our several centuries as Friends, all pointing to that which is beyond words and available to all people and perhaps all of Creation...

Grace and peace and love and joy and awareness, to all who read this!

Susan J.