In the summer of 2007, while wandering around the world on the computer, avoiding some chore or another, daydreaming, I drifted onto the FUM website, where Terri Johns had listed a notice looking for someone to take on the Ben Richmond’s Weekly Devotional and Prayer Request. It’s a common experience among Friends, I think, to find God’s call in unlikely corners when you don’t even know you’re looking. And there it was.
It caught me up short; I was actively trying to cut back a bit on commitments. I ignored the prompting as best I could, went outside to the chores at hand, but the seed was sown and having been planted, insisted on rooting. Within a few days, I emailed Terri, she emailed back. I talked with my Oversight Committee. Terri and I had some phone conversations followed by telephonic conversation with both Terri and Sylvia Graves. We talked about FUM’s annual theme, focusing on unity, my travel minute and my sense of calling to underline the places where Friends of different ilk can come together. Quakers are such a wonderful faith community but our diversity can sometimes get in the way of our loving each other. Before I knew it, there I was, ministering in a way I had not planned.
God sometimes invites me through a threshold where I don’t really know what’s on the other side. Trying to live a life close to the Spirit, I always want to accept. The past five years have been, for me, a time of obedience, of humility, and of faith — of practicing a spiritual disciple that helped me to walk closer with my Guide, learn more from my Teacher, and has brought me spiraling closer and closer to the Center. I am so grateful, so blessed.
Friends United Meeting is a wonderful expression of our faith — of leading on a path to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and to experience the Presence come of working to be God’s hands and feet and voice in a complicated, sometimes confusing, world. I pray that Friends United Meeting continues to face the challenge of exploring our unfolding understanding of God’s Truth, listen closely, love deeply, and help us embrace each other. — cdw