That of god and a socket wrench

It’s a gorgeous Saturday here in Oakdale, and I’m sitting on my porch with some coffee. The Jehovah’s Witnesses are out this morning. It’s a pleasant day for testifying, and they’re making the most of it. I find their presence calming. The ladies’ perfume on the breeze, their good intentions and just the sight of folks walking through the neighborhood puts me in a peaceful mood. I don’t agree with a lick of what they believe theologically, but I’m thankful they’re here.

I myself am a Quaker. Quaker spirituality is difficult to summarize, but most Quakers center worship on the practice of gathering together and silently waiting to receive a divine message. I’d put my personal response rate around 15 percent. About one in seven times I receive a message that feels spiritually meaningful. The rest of the time, it’s chicken recipes or earworms that do nothing to guide me in better living, one of the central tenets of Quakerism — that we are called to “walk cheerfully over the Earth, answering that of God in everyone.”

Answering that of god in everyone is an impossible task I will spend my entire life failing at, so I’ve been focusing more on the walking cheerfully over the Earth part, starting with my neighborhood.

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Isolation, the movement killer

Several months ago, I asked some friends, recently returned from Standing Rock, to relay their experiences of camping with 8,000 other activists for three weeks. I had heard that everyone at camp was encouraged to have a job. What was... Read More ›