Why not embrace?

As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.

Denise Levertov

Increasingly I am finding that all I am called to do is this. It is deeply counterintuitive for someone who has spent much of his life working in an environment where ‘no effort’ would lead to chaos and neglect, but there it is. Even sometimes among Friends. where in the usual Quaker way committees proliferate, and the active is in continual danger of overwhelming the contemplative instead of finding in it its source and its direction, I feel uneasy about this surrender, this quietism as some might think it.

But even Paul quotes God as saying to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12.9) There will come a time when each of us has to surrender, when weakness is all that is left to us. Why speak of “losing the battle” against old age or illness? Why not embrace what is, after all, an impermanence we’re born into? Why not trust that our source is no more than our destination, that beneath us are the everlasting arms of love?

3 thoughts on “Why not embrace?

  1. ginnyquaker

    No, surrender is never an easy idea to embrace in theory, never mind practice! But it feels very important for Friends not to lose touch with this important aspect of our spirituality. Thank you for helping us keep it alive, Mike.

    Reply
  2. Mike Farley Post author

    Thank you, Ginny. Sorry for slow moderation and even slower thanks – we’ve been away for a week almost entirely off-grid – not even a mobile signal most of the time!

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Sacred Sleep | Silent Assemblies

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