A Place to Stand

I have been a member of North Carolina Yearly Meeting conservative for over twenty years. I am currently the clerk of our small Monthly Meeting. I am a recorded elder and presently serve as the Recording Clerk of our Yearly Meeting's Ministers, Elders and Overseers. My name has been put forward to be the next clerk of North Carolina Yearly Meeting Conservative. By trade I am a philosophy professor.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Solid Center

Where do we want to be? The center. When we get there we will find plenty of the inspiration that we seek. That answer was too easy. It doesn’t say nearly enough. We need to describe what that center looks like from the point of view of someone standing there. This will be hard, but not impossible. After all, we have experienced the inspiration in bits and pieces. It is not just something we have read about in books and lived only in imagination. We’ve been there. We have found ourselves standing in the middle of challenging situations, knowing that we are exactly where we were meant to be and knowing exactly what we were meant to do and doing it and feeling great. At those moments we know that the kingdom of heaven is not some far-off future event. It’s here and it’s now.

What canst thou say, Friends? Have you felt this? I know you have. Spiritual intimacy will come in our meetings when more of us screw up the courage to talk openly about these moments. We do need to talk about our worries, our challenges, our shortcomings and the negative things that we experience. No one should feel they have to keep their problems to themselves. After all, one of the things we are called to do is to bear each others burdens. But in our time I feel the need is greater for us to share our little stories of victory and faithfulness. We live in a time when hope is in desperately short supply. I know many of you have such stories but hold back from telling them because you don’t want to sound “holier than thou.” I vividly recall Louise Wilson in the course of a long piece of vocal ministry shaking her head over and over and saying “Don’t look at the shadows, don’t look at the shadows, look to the Light.” The shadows really are powerless against the Light. If you have lived in that Light even for one minute this week then you have a new story to tell and there is probably some Friend who needs the inspiration that story will give them. Your story will not have a parting-of-the-Red-Sea kind of dramatic quality to it but don’t think less of it for that reason. God really does live and breathe in the mundane details of ordinary lives. Sharing your story will strengthen you as well. You will find that talking about your experiences enables you to enter into and act out of the center more surely and more often. It is one of the ways to gradually make your contact with the center more solid and more real.

I have to add a caution however. There are times when one of these stories is on the tip of my tongue and I hear an inner voice warning me not to speak. I recall one time ignoring it and speaking anyway and feeling a chill come over me as I realized that I was being unfaithful at that moment. Don’t force yourself to tell these stories. Tell them as led but only as led.

3 Comments:

Blogger Laurie Kruczek said...

As I began to read this current post, I found myself nodding in agreement, then sort of rocking back in forth in further agreement. Is this the "quaking" early Friends felt when something spoke to their condition? Who can say for sure.

I can say God calms me now. He has been with me all day today, leading me. My faith in Him is so strong. I believe that whatever will happen, is God's will. I believe he is leading us all where we need to go.

Our family was told last week another child was born to our 2 adopted daughters' birthmother. Child Protective Services asked if we wanted her. We said YES! Because we now live in a different state, there are new hoops to jump through, a homestudy to be done, etc. The newborn won't be placed with us for a few months... maybe even 6 months! But we want her. She is family. God is calling us to bring her home and for her to be our child. I know this in my heart. Yes, we have 2 very young daughters now, and it will be so physically tiring, but God is telling me, "This is what I want."

Well now, if God says that, you follow it, right? And in our hearts, it is what we want, too. She is already our daughter.

The foster mother our new baby was placed with, just a week ago, says she is keeping the baby. The case worker has told her, "You have no rights to this child. You are the foster parent. The child has birth sisters and adoptive parents who will take her. They are the first priority. You cannot adopt her." The foster mother won't listen. She says she is adopting the baby.

I can say God calms me now. He has been with me all day today, leading me. My faith in Him is so strong. I believe that whatever will happen, is God's will. I believe he is leading us all where we need to go.

4:40 PM  
Blogger RichardM said...

Laurie,

I do think that the Spirit moving within us can show up in our bodies as rocking or "quaking." I've seen it in people particularly when they have a vocal ministry inside them trying to come out. I've even seen this in folks who are recorded ministers and are used to this sort of thing.

It sounds like you are being led to adopt this new child. Of course you will have to watch and wait to test the leading and there will be hurdles to overcome, but if this is genuine then at some point Way will open for it to become a reality. I'll be praying for you and your family.

7:48 AM  
Blogger Laurie Kruczek said...

Thank you, Richard. You are a good spirit who has many good works to share. Peace to you!

Laurie

10:28 PM  

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