Early in meeting for worship today, I was all caught up in my head--in ideas about what is ministry and what is faithfulness, and whether or not I'm "doing" Quakerism "right."
And then an echo of the Song of Songs came to me: "I am my Beloved's, and my Beloved is mine." And everything changed, and the words washed away in just being with the Beloved. And the Light grew so bright and good around me and inside me, that I could just about bear it:
There is an hour, every week, during which I get to drop all the hard work of trying to be something, and just be what I'm supposed to be. I don't have to be strong, or wise, or clever. I don't have to anything at all, because the Beloved is there, and it's just fine...
At those times, the image comes to me, of myself as a tiny child, almost too young for speech. Have you ever seen a little girl, one just barely walking, make her way solemnly to her mother? That's me. And when I get there, I lift my arms up in the air, stiffly, the way that toddlers do.
"Up!" I say, in that toddler way. "Up!" with all the quiet confidence of the completely loved, completely trusting child.
And I go up in those warm, strong arms, and turn my head into that safe neck and shoulder, and I let go and clasp on, and I'm free in a way I have mostly forgotten how to be.
And you know, everything else--the hundred thousand words we use to strap ourselves in, corset-like, to being faithful to the Light we're given, all the Quaker or Pagan or philosophical apologetics--is really beside the point.
I am my Beloved's. And my Beloved is mine.
And everything follows from there.