Hello–how are you doing? Speaking at the Friends meeting is something I never thought I would do. We’ve been going since November. God gave me a message, and I didn’t feel much choice but to speak it. The message was something like this.
You know at the doctor, there can be a pain scale. It might be 1 to 10, where 1 is no pain, and 10 is more pain than you’ve ever felt. Well, once a month I get a pain that’s about an 8. It doesn’t last very long, but it’s disruptive. I think it’s my cervix opening.
I asked my spouse Ming, because he’s a nurse–“What number is your pain, when it’s hard to breathe?”
Ming told me–“Any number pain, it can be hard to breathe.”
I’ve thought about that, what he said, many times since then. When pain arrives, I try to be open to it. I want to see it as a messenger from God, since she does send such strange messengers. Some people, they pay a lot of money for transformative experiences, like special drugs or retreats or something. I’m able to get the transformative experience for free.
Pain is a vacation for me. I don’t live there yet. I’m fortunate that I can visit pain to have that experience.
So thank you for being there, as I had that pain just now, in this place. But when I come here, that’s something that always happens. In the silence we share, you help me hold my pain. So thank you for that.
What do you think about all that, reader? Speaking at the friends meeting shocked me. Ming and our housemate were surprised too.
I wish I had explained better how the quiet Quaker friends help me hold everything in the silence–not just pain. We hold joy, weird ideas, the mundane, the sacred. All of it. But pain is actually the thing I need help holding.
Seems great I referred to God as she. I always like doing that. And I think the length was good–I didn’t talk their ears off.
I like the idea of pain being a vacation for me. I need to be respectful of people who live in pain-town, disabled by pain, which is a whole other thing.
My housemate friend some time ago told me, “Thank you for being a spiritual leader.”
I started laughing. I laughed for a long time.
“Why are you laughing?” he asked.
I kept laughing, then asked, “I’m sorry–what did you just say to me?”
“I said–thank you for being a spiritual leader,” he repeated.
“Ok–that’s what I thought you said,” I said. “You’re welcome.”
True I have done two rituals for the house and am thinking about the spiritual needs / life of the house all day. Prayer, prayer exchange, dancing in the yard. Doing love in an intuitive, generous way that feels religious.
After my surprise experience of speaking at the friends meeting, I felt a huge wave of relief. I was able to close my eyes and rest differently, as I sat in the pew, bathed in silence. I felt a pale orange glowy feeling inside. Yes, God was feeling like pale orange light yesterday.
That God relief seemed like a good sign that I had done the right thing. Sometimes my actions have wacky unexpected results. This result felt like a calm bliss.
Another result was that people looked at me differently, after the meeting. Because I had said nothing until yesterday, they didn’t know who I am. Now they have a hint besides my body, my clothing, facial expressing, my colorful cartoon bag, and the company I keep.