Tag Archives: Quakers

"Suffer the little children…"

“When I don’t know what to do, or have a question or am confused about something, I become very quiet and go inside and ask my Guardian Friend–I call him that, he’s my Friend—What should I do, how should I think about that?”

“I go inside myself and ask the Spirit to come to me. (?) I feel the Spirit in my whole body – in the heart.”

Two intelligent, articulate children, not quite yet “young adults,” said these things to me, most freely, and unselfconsciously, in First Day (Sunday) School today. Perhaps because they are from another, simpler culture? perhaps because they have experienced love and acceptance in their lives? perhaps they’ve actually taken their previous, evangelical bible studies to heart?

I scarcely dared breathe. How unused I am to such innocence. I have the useless wish to shield them from our culture.

Who is speaking?

Posting in this “ship’s log” is akin to standing up and speaking in Quaker Meeting: difficult, sometimes excruciatingly so, to discern whether the impulse to speak (or write) comes from the Ego or the Spirit. With good reason did the original Quakers physically shake, “quake,” before they unloosed the voice during silent Meeting.

The act of discernment is a difficult one:  Is it the ego, and its wish for attention, approval, wanting—needing–to get one’s “two cents in” that feels the urge, as a mosquito bite one simply must scratch? Or is it truly the Spirit, the spark in us that lives in the Light, that prompts the leading? Every week, every Meeting, is an opportunity to practice the alchemical operation of Separation.