07 March 2009

Found Ministry

or Gospel Truth

I love our Meetinghouse. It's like a small, upside-down ark in the spiritual ocean, a shelter against the storm and a beacon of light. It's simply but well-built, with caring and craftsmanship showing in many small details.

Quakers didn't build our Meetinghouse. Before we bought it, it was a neighborhood church. There's a disused immersion baptistry behind what used to be the altar, and faint crosses spray-painted on the light fixtures in the worship room.

I feel gratitude and warmth for the people who built our Meetinghouse, a connection that transcends time and creed. Their work shelters us now, and the spirit that went into the construction of the building still feeds us.

About a month ago, I was hanging out with the children in the small yard behind the worship room. There's a small play structure there under liquid amber trees, and an even smaller patio with a few benches and chairs for supervising adults.

Suddenly, I noticed what looked like some letters carved in the concrete near the building. I went closer, scraped away the leaf mould with my foot, and tried to read the words.

For it is God

I scraped some more, and moved the bench out of the way.

For it is God who works in you

I was getting excited. What Quakerly words were these, left for us by the founders of the neighborhood church?

I found a broom and swept the mud off the next section of the letters.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act

“Spirit-led, spirit-led,” my heart was singing. 

I had run out of letters. I shifted back to the left and used my broom to free the next line.

according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13

Oh wow. 

No Bible verse had ever struck me with more force, or seemed more appropriate to the circumstances.

For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:13


Liz Opp said...

Wow, very cool!

I'm assuming you've brought these words, and how you came upon them, to the attention of others in the meeting... What if anything has *that* brought out among Friends?

Liz Opp, The Good Raised Up

Heather Madrone said...

Hi Liz,

I hadn't actually, but on your prompting, I mentioned the inscription to my women's prayer group. None of them had any idea those words were there, and there was a feeling that the message was meant for me.

They want me to show them this next Sunday.

Just Be Real said...

Amen! Powerful words and yes Philippians is a powerful book of the Bible. Thank you for sharing!!