Archive for the ‘leadings’ Category

Living Dangerously

January 13, 2008

During the holiday period between Christmas and mid January I generally lose track of what day of the week it is, and rely on dates. At Summer Gathering I lose track of dates, and just go by which day of the gathering it is, or how many days there are still to go.

So, the day after SG ended, I was very pleased to realise it was a Sunday, and we were staying in Mt Eden, just minutes from the Meeting House. When I walked in to Meeting that morning, I saw people I had hugged goodbye the day before, not expecting to see for weeks or months.

At Summer Gathering I ran a session entitled ‘Dangerous Quakers’. This was inspired by a blog post by Peggy Senger Parsons, a Friend from the US. The session was about the way Quakers are often dangerous in the sense they are disruptive to the forces of oppression and inequality. They are dangerous to those who promote war and injustice as solutions to the world’s problems. This often involves Friends placing themselves in danger, in terms of their income, their liberty, their safety or even their lives. This willingness to sacrifice (aspects of) oneself for a greater truth has a power that Ghandi described as satyagraha, or ‘truth force’. I was very interested in how people tell whether they are being dangerous in this sense, or just reckless. How they tell whether what they are feeling is a calling from the Spirit, or just a ‘bee in their bonnet’.

During the session the importance of the people and Meetings that support those called came up several times. This is both in helping individual Friends listen to and discern their leadings, and in supporting their resulting actions. Coming into Meeting for Worship in Mt Eden made me realise yet again that it is the everpresent community of Friends that enables some of our number to head the call of the Spirit and do things that are dangerous.