Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quaker Wisdom for Today

"We are a people that follow after those things that make for peace, love, and unity."

-- Margaret Fell


Dale Graves said...

And so is the ideal. And now pray that we may make it practice.

dcsloan said...


The lamb was lost. It was the shepherd who searched, found, retrieved, and celebrated the recovery of the lost lamb.

The coin was lost. It was the woman who searched, found, retrieved, and celebrated the recovery of the lost coin.

The son was lost. The son had rejected the father as though the father was dead. Even in rejection, the father was generous. The son lived a selfish and self-directed life without the father. Finally, the son had no options, no direction, no chance of rescue, no charity, no hope, no family, no life, complete separation from love and kindness and friendship and companionship, an abomination of an existence – this is death and hell. At such a time under such circumstances, what happens next is natural and unavoidable – the son goes home. The father has been waiting and watching. As hard as it is, that is all a parent can do, watch and wait until the child finishes the journey and turns toward home. When the father, who has been waiting and watching, catches that first distant glimpse of the returning son; the father rushes out to retrieve the lost son, to embrace the found son, to shower the returning son with generous hospitality, and to begin the celebration. The son never even got to finish that well-rehearsed speech of contrition and humility. All that matters is that son turned toward home. The son was never lost to the Father, the son was only lost to himself.

The brother was not happy. (Question: Is the home-bound brother like the nine coins safely gathered in a known location or like the ninety-nine sheep left in the wilderness?) The brother wants to know why there is a celebration for the lost when there has never been a celebration for that which was never lost. The brother wants to know why there are not punitive consequences for destructive decisions and a selfish life. Why is there a father’s happiness for a bad son? The father affirms his love for the brother and acknowledges the accomplishments and stewardship of the brother. The father also rejects rejection. There has been enough separation. There will be no more separation – separation is finished. Now there will be acceptance and inclusion and a great party.

Being a Christian is practicing generosity and hospitality; living non-violently without vengeance; living here and now as one family where all are invited, welcomed, and included without exception or qualification; living in constant relationship with God; and living here and now – not later and not someplace else – living here and now a life transformed by resurrection.