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Spirit's Springtime

Posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 at 10:00PM by Registered CommenterMarshall Massey in | CommentsPost a Comment

ew cameo.jpgWell, my tax forms are all completed at last (though not yet mailed). Now comes the reward I’ve been looking forward to for months.

I’m packing this evening for the Midyear Meeting of Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) — an annual event that lasts about a day and a quarter (most of Saturday plus some of Sunday) and at which there are No Business Sessions At All.

Paul BuckleyPaul Buckley (pictured at right) is the featured presenter. I’ve never met Paul face to face, but I used to converse with him on one or two of the old Quaker e-mail lists, way back more than a dozen years ago when we downloaded postings at a slo-o-ow 2400 bps. I remember that he and his contributions were always a delight. I hope I’ll have the chance to talk with him again tomorrow. We shall see!

Like Friend Will Taber, I shall be going with a heavy heart, burdened with all the antagonism, religious stereotyping and bickering I’ve been witnessing these past two months in the Quaker blogging world. Our planet is in gravest peril; I have labored long and hard among Friends this past year on its behalf; I have absolutely nothing to show for it — and Friends on both sides are now much more interested in duking it out about liberalism versus evangelical purity than in uniting to bear a clear testimony to the world. What a sorry exercise in futility it all seems to have been.

During the times of worship at Midyear, I shall be praying earnestly for the gifts I need to continue my labors rightly in the year to come — the gift of endless patience and renewed care in listening, the gift of big-hearted charity, the gift of a gentle touch, and above all the gift of attentiveness to Christ. I have faith that these prayers may be answered if I stay low and close to the Seed.

The real point of Midyear Meeting, though (for me at least) is not Paul’s presentation, nor the chance to pray for what I need in the months to come. The real point is the chance to be with weighty Friends from all over Iowa once more — for four long wonderful meals plus random bits of leisure time. After a long winter trapped in the workaday world, I can finally soak in the rays of Iowa Friendshine, sink my roots deeper into the life of the Church, and drink up the gentle rain of companionship on the path.

Tonight I feel like the ancient grey oaks on the hillside where I live — not yet leafing out (they are very cautious old trees), but their every root-hair astir in the earth, and their buds awakening in the air. O, without this spring season of the soul, what would I do in the whole world but rot?

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