Faith as a way of paying attention

The inside blurb to Secrets in the Dark: A Life in Sermons begins, “Frederick Buechner has long been a kindred spirit to those who find elements of doubt as constant companions on their journey of faith.”

The book was a birthday gift from my mother two years ago, and I’ve been slowly making my way through its gentle, surprising sermons ever since Christmas of that year.

This past weekend, just as the newest post for Walhydra’s Porch

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“A radiant indifference to words”

This is a beautiful post I stumbled onto, thanks to Martin Kelley’s QuakerQuaker.org. It’s on a blog I hadn’t seen before, Showers of Blessing, by Paul L of Minneapolis.

Friend Paul is quoting from Andrea Lee’s article, “Personal History: Altered State — Pennsylvania, blackness, and the art of being foreign,” in the June 30, 2008 issue of The New Yorker.

As a fifth-grade student at Lansdowne Friends School, she and her classmates were

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Uplift

Yesterday I quoted from and linked to two of my favorite bloggers on my other blog, Walhydra’s Porch. Both spoke so well to my present condition that I wanted to acknowledge and share their offerings with readers of this blog.

Sara Sutterfield Winn shared a powerful poem by the 15th century Indian poet Kabir on her Pagan Godspell site:

The Time Before Death

Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you

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On waiting and squirming

Being of melancholic temperament, my Quaker practice is occasionally reduced to long periods of inner struggle between faith and circumstance.

These are not periods of doubting God or of doubting that I can rely upon God.

Rather, they are periods during which I have difficulty finding God’s reassuring silence in the midst of my own emotional noise. Or, sometimes, in the midst of a kind of emotional shut-downness, when prolonged distress has dulled itself into exhaustion.

As

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“Teacher’s-petitude”

I was hesitant to start a blog of the sort in which one promotes one’s own ideas, opinions and knowledge so nakedly.

This venue of blogging ups the ante on the temptation one sometimes experiences in meeting for worship: to voice the clever things one has thought of, instead of waiting upon a true call to vocal ministry. Instead of holding the thought in one’s own quietness, unless and until it becomes viscerally clear that one cannot not speak it

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