When are we Quakers?
Many Friends are talking about Rob's entry this week "A Crisis of Faith Tradition". I have to say, I discovered Richard's blog when it was very new, and was really joyful to find that he was coming to New York, a while ago. His journey has spoken to my heart again and again on his blog.
In my most comment, to the above thread on Rob's blog, I made a comment, which I feel I need to go deeper into, without taking space in his thread. I wrote about a Friend who said we take too many people into meetings who are not yet ready.
So, I felt I might sound like I am saying meetings make Quakers. We do not.
When a Friend becomes a Friend, it is internal and a state then recognized by other Friends. We are not a faith of hermits, though, we are builders of the Peaceable Kingdom through our joint efforts in the Lamb's War, that struggle in each of us, and together as Friends and together in the world. We hold each other up and together we remake the world.
But on the individual level.
There is that of God in me, in thee, and I am as present to God in thee as to that God in me.
There we are. That is the process. All flows from that, one can say others said it, in other words, Hill el, certainly did, in "Do nothing to another that is abhorrent to thyself, that is the Torah and the rest is commentary"...
This simple statement of relationship calls us to observations and actions. The observations sometimes are stated in the Testimonies, and actions sometimes are stated in advices.
But, it is the understanding of the relationship in the acceptance of presence to God in others that makes thee a Quaker. We are human, and struggle to be present, we sin, we atone, we heal. The sin does not remove us from that relationship, the atonement does not restore us to that relationship, it moves us towards rest and righteousness. As Yeshua is reported to have said, to Thomas, in answer to "how do we know the Children of light?" We know them trough movement and rest." Humanity is not born to not sin, humanity is called to walk with righteousness before our God, and to do that, we must be present to God in all things. We can only know our sins, when we know God in that which we sin against.
Meetings only are a coming together of Children of Light, present to God, and trying very hard to walk, together with righteousness,