September 20, 2014

Maybe its just me, but I have been more aware this week that the world is being prepared for something momentous. The Greeks called it a Kairos time, a right or opportune moment, a time beyond the normal flow, a time that can change history. But, of course, I don't what exactly we are being prepared for, and I can't know whether it will be good or bad or just another historical blip. 

We will all being watching tomorrow to see the impact of the climate march in NYC, especially as daily news forecasts looming, dire  consequences if our resistance and capacity to make major planetary changes are not successful. And I have been so aware this week that, despite a decade or more of lessons learned about the futility of  war, our country stumbles toward the brink of another war in the Middle East - and then after setting this course with millions of dollars allotted, our Congress takes a two month break! Add to all this a regional earthquake, an out of control Ebola epidemic in Africa, and all the dramas, large and small, on Whidbey and in our personal lives, it truly can feel like things are at a serious wobble.

But haven't we held a similar level anxiety and awareness for months and years now? Doesn't if often feel like things are majorly "falling apart?" Our Quaker history, and much of what defines Quaker faith and practice, was within a context of great political and cultural turmoil so extreme that early Friends believed the Second Coming must surely be close at hand. 

I try to hold this Kairos consciousness while I also try very hard to live fully into the grand experiment of Life that also fills my days. One day after another these past weeks are declared to be perfect weather with an incredible sense of beauty and fulfillment. A memorial service celebrates the grace and compassion of the person we are memorializing, but it also demonstrates the capacity of a community to celebrate that life with an equal sense of humor, grace and power. Tears are shed, laughter is shared, loss is acknowledged, the world goes on.

Holding both the Kairos historical, anxious, complex moment of our wider world and the kairos personal time of worry, wonder, discouragement and delight, defines, again, the paradox of our real lives. The three plus centuries now of our Quaker experiment with truth-seeking, witnessing to compassion and justice, and holding spirit-led communities and each other in the Light continues to give me a base from which to draw courage, patience, integrity and imagination necessary to keep a perspective and faith that, despite my inability to know what this historical time means, I can continue to live with sufficient intention and hope that my life, and all of life, has meaning.