From the Clerk’s Table
by Mary Jo Klingel, Clerk.
“Art thou in the Darkness? Mind it not, for if thou dost it will feed thee more. But stand still, and act not, and wait in patience, Till Light arises out of Darkness and leads thee.” – James Naylor
I know that many Friends and many others struggle with feelings of helplessness and despair as the news worsens. We ask, “What should I be doing?” and find either no answer or too many.
I suspect that the feelings of despair, fear, and inadequacy cause our bodies to tighten and to be less able to feel and receive the Light. Quakers everywhere are able to offer an alternative to society’s “Can Do” culture of urgency, productivity, and problem-solving because we are, in our practice, receptive.
We sit in worship to receive the Light, the guidance of the Spirit. Our lives attest to the certainty that such a Spirit is available to guide us and hold us and give us profound gifts from the Light.
Please know that to be receptive is not to do nothing! It is to bet your life on the truth that there is an energy that is in essence loving that will guide and protect us. Then, and only then, will we know what to do. As I grow in awareness, I experience these gifts more often. Here is one example. I joined Durham (NC) Friends for a discussion about a David Attenborough video and found myself listening to a man who seemed to know a lot about Earthcare. Not only had he worked for the Environmental Protection Agency, but also he was willing to do a forum for Charlotte (NC) Friends. I did not look for that gift, but I was ready for it when it arrived.
The gift that I would offer to you is that if we are faithful, we can let go of the fear that we are not doing enough. We can breathe deeply and wait in worship and be willing and ready to see what arrives. What has also arrived for me is the quote from James Naylor. I hold onto the promise that the “Light arises out of the Darkness to lead thee.” It does, and I offer it to you as well.