Quakers believe that there is “That of God in everyone”. They are charged to go about their “work “in the world, looking for that “light”-- The light that reminds us where we all came from. That can be a difficult expectation to live up to. So how do we do it? How do we find the good in people that are different from us? How do we learn to value diversity, if we haven’t been exposed to it? How do we step away from fear that exists as we come upon all of the unknowns that life places before us? I think it begins with exposure. But as Forest Gump’s Momma so aptly put, “You never know what you’re gonna’ get.” Might we be drawn to someone very like ourselves? Maybe. Maybe , if deep down, we need reinforcement. Maybe if we need to build pride, perhaps. Do Opposites attract? Sometimes they do. Sometimes the magnetic force is so great, that there is no doubt that those opposites were destined to be drawn together so that they would be made whole. Their differences may be so great that they subconsciously seek balance, that they may assist one another in seeing that there are other ways of greeting the world.
So here is my take, In a nutshell. I believe that we are brought together, warts and all, TO LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER. I think God gives us lots and lots of opportunities to grow-- Opportunities to LOOK for “that of God in everyone”. I truly believe that he allows us to be different to draw us together, so that we may naturally investigate. He makes us different, yet brings us together to blend, so that there might be even more VARIETY in the world—More of the Wonder of his creation. What is He, if not Creative, and we, being “That of God” are not only His Creation but his Creativity in Action. So we are all little parts of him, like the cells of the body, the infinite body. Seeking that which we do not understand, we side up against one another. We can not live with out the cells that make up the heart, nor can we live without the cells that make up the liver, or the brain. We can not live without the cells of the body that make up the fascia. Fascia? Fascia, I have learned, is a very interesting thing.
fas·ci·a n. pl. fas·ci·ae
A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together muscles, organs, and other soft structures of the body.
Its purpose is both to separate and to hold together. But interestingly enough, although it has these two very different purposes, we refer to it as “connective tissue”. We may be different, but it is our differences which draw us together, to make the interesting “whole” that we are. So that is my Nutshell. OK, maybe my nut is a Brazil nut. I looked up Brazil nut and was surprised to see that there are many nutshells, as it were, within one seedcase. I could show example after example, but I won’t. Suffice it to say:
"I pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas . . . that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life..."
"The Power of Prayerful Living"