“. . . Helping One Another Up with a Tender Hand.”


To those three bicyclists I pissed off in Porter Square yesterday:

I’m sorry, gentlemen. My fault; I was totally in your bike lane—and forced you to get around my silver Suburu during rush hour by making you actually walk your bikes onto the sidewalk to get past, keep going. I’m sorry. I really am. You did not need an additional, aggravating hassle on your already fraught commute home.

Not for nothin,’ though: my husband and I and a dear, disabled f/Friend had just driven from Vermont where we’d spent six days with fellow Quakers “living into a covenant community.” “Huh?” “Wha?” you say?  Exactly. I’ll spare you chapter and verse to just say this: I’d just spent six days with six hundred people talking about how being in a faith community is about—well, wait! Maybe this will help. Here’s a quote we heard read twice yesterday, just hours before your unpleasant encounter with me on Somerville Avenue:

Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand.” (Isaac Peninington; 1667)

So I guess you could say that when, having just dropped off someone with mobility issues at the most convenient place for her to walk to the Porter Square T and, starting to pull away from the curb, I saw the three of you and an SUV approaching, I was in an altered state when I thought: “That SUV will let me in because that’s the Right Thing to do. That’s how these moment-to-moment urban negotiations work.”


I’m sorry.

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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, my so, so very dearly special and dearest, precious sisterfriend who you are For Always so, so very much, Patricia! What a beautiful and very heartfelt blog post article this is of yours, sister! I love this! I think with what you so graciously shard about having the bicyclists moving on to the sidewalk that you did your very best and nobody’s perfect, my friend(SMILE!!!!!!) As a pedestrian since I don’t drive and don’t have a car due to my multiple physical disabilities and my other disabilities I try to see the perspectives of drivers and where drivers are at in their sides of things when they are driving on the road.

    Sister, I so very much enjoyed and really loved and liked reading about your very special, blessed, and inspirational gathering of your Friends across New England at your six-day gathering. How wonderful! I love how all of you broke break and communed together in loving sharing and conversation about faith community! I was praying so hard and so often and daily for all of you that each and every one of you would have such a blessed time together as community! Wow, this sounds like it was just such a blessed and spectacular experience. Some Sunday I must take a Sunday off and not go to my church as I usually do every Sunday at Faith United Church of Christ in Iowa City, Iowa where I live and I must go to a Friends Meeting in Iowa City. I bet I would for sure be very blessed and enjoy and cherish the experience, sister! I love the spiritual title of your grandly great blog post article, Patricia! I, too, want to offer my tender hands with a very loving and helping heart to all of our Good Spirit God’s children!!!!!!!!

    I loved and liked so reading about how all of you shared so lovingly together in the unity of the spirit about covenant community and building! This is just absolutely excellent and magnificent! I love the verse from the Bible which you quoted, sisterfriend! Patricia, I For Always yearn for my life as a Christian woman to be one which follows the very great and gracious ideas in spiritual practice mentioned in this sweetly loving Bible verse. I so love to pray For Always for people, to pray without ceasing, and to be a prayer warrior and to engage in lovingly heartfelt intercessory prayers for people! Patricia, I pray for you so, so very much daily and often, for your dearest and darling husband, David, for all of your special, precious, and beloved family, and for your wonderful Friends at your Friends Meeting at Cambridge For Always!

    Sister, you showed such tender care and sensitivity towards your dear friend who has mobility issues, my friend! You bring to my mind and my heart my other white sisterfriends who show me such gentle, caring, and sensitive care as they help me to enter and exit their cars, and help me to navigate with my walking with my wheel rollator walker when I am having my chronic physical pain and balance and coordination issues. Sister, I am just so sure your dear friend really values and appreciates you, my friend, and your very tender and lovingly sensitive care for her needs!

    Patricia, please have a fantastic and a very fun-filled Friday, a wondrously wonderful weekend, and may all of your days be so, so very especially blessed, my dear friend! Your very lovely and eloquent blog post article gave me such joy and blessings, sister, as usual as For Always!!!!!! Thank-you so For Always, Patricia!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my sisterfriend Christian, Patricia, with Peace and Love To You For Always, my dearest white sister, with Blessings and Even More Blessings To You For Always,

    Your Christian lesbian black sisterfriend For Always in solidarity, Sherry Gordon

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