I have been having promptings lately to make regular visits to Friends churches. My meeting no longer fills my spiritual needs and hasn’t for some time. I need and love the expectant waiting in Holy silence, but that is only a part. Early Friends knew the bible so well that they were easily able to refer to passages that spoke to their lives. I have followed the common lectionary for most of my adult life to try and understand how the teachings might apply to my life, but this cannot be a solitary endeavor. A community is needed to discern together. There is among unprogrammed Friends a tolerance for many paths, except it seems for following the teachings of Jesus. To me this is like throwing out the baby with the bath water, to throw the teachings out with the way that some who call themselves Christian have misinterpreted those teachings and use them to judge and condemn others.
Yesterday I traveled to the westside of Portland to visit West Hills Friends Church. The west hills have always been a challenge for me to find my way around. I had Brunhilde, my GPS, with me and it took 40 minutes for what should have been a 20 minute drive. When I finally arrived, it came to me that this drive was an apt illustration of my spiritual journey. Going around in circles, many dead ends, and every once in awhile landing in the right place.
Part of the difficulty throughout my life has been that a part of me has not been acceptable in any place, but this is becoming less true. So, I will continue to seek out places where I might learn how the teachings of Jesus speak to me today and how I might follow the way.