Monday, May 4, 2009

Everything Is Everything

My job is ending in August and I am worried. My job ending is not a surprise. I knew when I took the job that I would be there for two years. Of course, that sounded much more reasonable in the fall of 2006 than it does now. I'm sure it will not come as news to anyone that this is not a great time to be looking for a job.

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,
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.


  1. I know how you feel friend. I've been out of job for a year and 2 months now. Jeremy has been out of work for 9 months. It's incredible how hard it can be to get a job! But we've been so taken care of.
    I bet that message could have spoken to a lot of people at FWCC. I certainly want it to be for me! But I think it is in a way. The word that has been going through my mind lately is Provision.
    What sets us apart in our faith is not that bad things never happen to us, but that we can go through bad times with faith & and a sense of peace. At least that's what I aspire to!

  2. Aimee - I am glad to hear that you feel that you are well taken care of and I like the word Provision, it seems fitting. I keep thinking about "daily bread," especially since Ann and Dorsey lent us their bread machine and Eric has been making bread on nearly a daily basis. I literally have Friends giving me daily bread! I hope that you and Jeremy will be able to find jobs and that you will be able to keep your sense of peace.

  3. Be faithful, and the way will open. {{hugs}}}


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