November 27, 2017

Queries that help me dig deeper

A few weeks ago, I posted about the queries that Iowa Yearly Meeting (Conservative) uses.  That post was prompted by some writing that my Quaker friend Jeff Kisling has done, especially about the possibility of updating the regional body's treasured queries. On Facebook, as part of a go-around that a few of us were doing to put words to queries that might be more appropriate to today, I replied with this:

When God and I query myself during times of struggle or of spiritual desert, many times the query is 
“Have I experienced something like this before? If so, what helped and what hindered? Am I able to do more of what worked and avoid what didn’t?” 
Another go-to query for me, especially around justice work, has been 
“If I am not clear on the Way forward and yet there is a clear injustice being committed [including inaction/absence of witness], where is the Way open that I might act or address the injustice?” 
One Conservative-leaning Quaker friend of mine often lifts that sort of query up as “What is mine (or ours) to do?”

I also want to be explicit that these personal queries I’ve written here seldom appear/occur/are Given to me in this manner. More often, they are Given to me as a singular piece, in my heart, wordless, until I sit long enough and they exercise me and convict me inwardly.

Along those lines, another query that rises in me from time to time is 
“Where do I understand that my good intentions have had harmful impacts, across race, social class, gender, ability, age, and the like? What is required of me to repair the harm and to help me avoid such behavior and transform such attitudes going forward?”
I’m also aware that queries that work for me and are Given to me may not speak to the condition of anyone else. I think that may go without saying.

So many important, life-giving considerations to hold, reflect on, and act upon, as Way opens...


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