I had not, as it were, dictated the words, I had simply followed them where they wanted to lead.
(Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light)
I like the footstools in this meetinghouse. It’s not my first time worshipping here. It’s a comfortable place to visit mid-week. Not far from the train station, small group but reliably present, with footstools for short people—this is something I appreciate.
Also, the windows are pretty. And the benches. Very old benches. There’s a piano in the corner and a sign on the piano about how Quakers didn’t traditionally use pianos. There are Bibles and hymnals on the benches to flip through if that feels appropriate.
I wonder if I might be called to speak. There’s a bit of internal tugging, but I find I’m not sure what the message is. Also, there’s rarely spoken ministry at this meeting. Since I don’t have words, clearly I’m not—
I’m speaking. Without intent or processing of any kind, I’ve stood and kicked my little footstool upside down and opened my mouth and I’m halfway through a sentence before I’m conscious. I seem to be talking about releasing one’s material possessions. Fascinating. I’m making sense—that’s good, at least I’m not babbling—but I certainly have no idea where this is going. A moment later, I appear to be finished. I sit.
I’m feeling glad that I didn’t knock over any other furniture.
Or fall down.
That was interesting . . .
This story is part of a series on traveling in the ministry. Names and identifying details have been changed.
If you’re in the Caribbean, South America, Central America, or North America, and if your Friends’ community might benefit from the experience of having a traveling minister come to visit, take a look at this program from Friends World Committee for Consultation.
To participate in the Holy Experiments ministry, which is designed to knit together an international community of Friends who are following Spirit adventurously and building more culturally inclusive faith communities, go here.