—An excerpt from some thoughts on Quaker silence:
By and large Quakers tend to be busy people, and you rarely find them wondering how to occupy their time. They would, however, be the first to recognize how essential it is for them to have periods of disinvolvement, even from the activities which express their continuing concern to care for people …. In our disinvolvement two elements will be present. First is a kind of detachment that while standing back, accepts all experience in the hope of transcending it- seeing beyond it creatively. Secondly a cessation from all mental activity so that the body and mind are as still and quiet as possible.
—A Quaker Pioneer: Ann Preston, early woman doctor
—Ways of Worship from JohnW’s grandma. An excerpt:
I think of myself like the tree planted by the “rivers of water” in Psalm 1, sucking up God’s gift of life and being restored.
—A Quaker Home Blessing: (Someday this may be framed and hanging in my front doorway)
LET the guest sojourning here know that in this home our life is simple. What we cannot afford we do not offer, but what good cheer we can give…we give gladly.
We make no strife for appearance sake.
Know also, friend, that we live a life of labour, therefore, if at times we separate ourselves from thee, do ye occupy thyself accordingly to thine heart’s desire.
We will not defer to thee in opinion or ask thee to defer to us. What thou thinketh ye shall say, if ye wish, without giving offense. What we think, we also say, believing that truth hath many aspects, and that love is large enough to encompass them all.
So, while ye tarry here with us we would have thee enjoy the blessing of a home, health, love and freedom, and we pray that mayst find the final blessing of life. PEACE