A few weeks ago, I was discussing the bleak job market with a co-worker and she said, half-jokingly, that if I don't find anything, I could spend the time focusing on my Quaker ministry. I was surprised, because she is not a Quaker. After the initial surprise wore off, I said, "That sounds nice."
Unlike my job search, most of the Quaker things I am doing seem to be going pretty well. Although there have been difficult times in some of the committees I have worked on, I feel like I can see positive results from the work I have done. I am going to be traveling quite a bit in the next few months and I am excited about the Friends I will meet and the places God is leading me.
But at the same time, the Quaker work I do is not paid and I do not expect it to be. So I am back to thinking about my livelihood and worrying that I will either not have the money or the time and energy to continue doing the things I am doing.
It's a good time to be reading the Gospels. In reading through the Bible, I have just started the Gospel of John. I had forgotten how many of the stories about Jesus are repeated in the different Gospels, and it is comforting to hear them again and again.
One of the things that I've noticed on this reading is how physical Jesus's actions are. Yes, he told a lot of stories, but he also spent a lot of time feeding people and healing the sick. I guess part of me had internalized the idea that God is there for our souls and doctors and cooks take care of the healing and feeding.
When I was sitting in silence at the Friends World Committee for Consultation annual meeting in March, I got a very clear message. God said to me,
YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED.It was so powerful, I thought I might be sick, but it was also confusing. It didn't feel like a message for me, but I also didn't feel like it was for the people at FWCC. I ended up writing it down and later shared it with a few friends, but I felt unsettled.
I am still not sure entirely who the message is for, but I think it is partially for me now and in the months to come. It is true, I do have everything I need. I have a place to live and food to eat and a source of income (for now, at least). I also have the support of people who love me and places to go if I can no longer afford to pay my rent or grocery bills. Compared to many people in the world, I am extremely fortunate.
Beyond that, I have a relationship with a God who cares about my body as well as my soul. I know that I am not immune from sickness, pain, or death, but I also have the Gospels to gently remind me that I don't need to fear those things. I have everything I need, and I am grateful.