Love as a Verb

[Waiting for Muhammad Ali’s funeral procession at the entrance to the Cave Hill Cemetery; Louisville, KY, June, 2016]

My bedroom is on the first floor and I live on a busy street so, late one night last week, when a fire truck’s flashing lights shone through my venetian blinds as it roared past, it almost made sense to dopily wonder, “Is my house on fire?”

The next day, fully caffeinated, I took a closer look at my nighttime craziness/confusion. And, chagrined, recognized it.

First: the craziness/confusion: Umm: Wouldn’t I have known if my house were engulfed in flames? Duh! Yet, strangely, mysteriously, sleepily, I assumed someone had dialed 9-11. Someone who knew better than I. Someone watching out for me. Stepping in. My savior.

Next, the recognition: These days, reading headlines? I wait for that savior. I stop breathing; I wait.  In some childish and primitive way I wait for some mythical, larger-than-life superstar to drop the dime, blow the whistle, step in. Rescue us. “Help me, Obi Wan Kanobi! You’re my only hope!”

Yet even as I again hold my breath at the latest outrage or wanton cruelty (24 million people will lose their healthcare?! 24 million?) or in-your-face greed and corruption, I’m learning to remind myself: Your outrage is shared. You are not alone. (And there’s the ACLU and federal judges and Black Lives Matter and climate activists and the sanctuary movement and . . . )

“God is in the hard places,” Hugh Barbour, a Quaker theologian, once taught me. And I came to learn to recognize God in the dead-center of pain and suffering. Now I’m learning to recognize God in the collective, in the many’s—and amplified—That of God.

For those keeping score at home, you may remember I’d also found meaning in God As Verb. Now: God as plural verb?  Are? Love as a verb? Let’s love it.


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1 Comment

  1. Dear Patricia,

    Hi, there, Patricia, my so, so very For Always awesomely special and dearly precious soul sisterfriend who you’re For Always so, so very much!!!!! Wow, Patricia, what a very encouraging, emboldening, and uplifting blog post article this is of yours which has greatly blessed me with immense blessings giving me even more cheer and making me feel even brighter and more encouraged, emboldened, uplifted and inspired! I am not alone and, in fact, I am never ever alone, and we are all never ever alone and we will prevail in never ever losing heart and not ever losing our faith with our such great expectancy of hope. Sister, I am an eternal optimist being a Pollyanna and I am a strong woman of faith and in positive, possibilities thinking and doing, my so, so very dearest and darling sister and friend, Patricia!!!! Wow!!!! Yay!!!!!

    What an absolutely powerful title and topic with this great theme for your very enlightening blog post article here, Patricia! Wow!!!! I sure do remember your brilliant earlier blog post article when you very beautifully with such descriptive clarity wrote your outstanding and engaging blog post article on our So, So Very Good God as a Verb. Love is very much indeed a Verb and Love as a Verb is God because God as our Sweet, Forever Spirit is Love. I know what you mean about waiting upon Spirit and in waiting for a savior in these very dire and harsh times right now, sister. I, too, want so and yearn for and long for some larger-than-life human superstars to drop the dime, blow the whistle, and step in working in concert with our So, So Very Loving, Kind, Caring, and as usual as always So, So Very Powerful God, sisterfriend. I’m with you, Patricia, in being very alarmed at the latest outrage or wanton cruelty like with 24 million so, so very dear folks losing their healthcare and in the unmitigated gall of as you so wisely say in-your-face greed and egregious corruption. Sister, then I take heart with your very sagacious quote from Hugh Barbour, a Quaker theologian, who you had the great blessing of being taught, “God is in the hard places.” Our God is very much indeed right in the thick of it of pain and suffering. I am very heartened, encouraged, emboldened, uplifted, and inspired by all of the absolutely fantastic people in the collective working in such a diligent and conscientious manner to resist and persist like YOU, my dear, dearest Patricia, all of my and our marvelous white sisters and brothers as such very empowering anti-racist allies and activists, the ACLU, federal judges, Black Lives Matter folks, and each and every one of you of such people so full of such cool spirit using our very agency and empowerment in fighting the good fight, and, to use the old Quaker expression, “Speaking such truth to power.” Along with you, sisterfriend, I recognize God in the collective in the very many’s-and amplified-That of God. Sister, I love just everything about this very masterfully composed blog post article of yours with the very applicable title and the great picture which you have very graciously and generously featured and included with it, and I so appreciate, love, and enjoy all of the links which you have also very generously and graciously featured and included as usual ans always with this very heartfelt, strong blog post article here. Sister, I joyfully read with such delight, eagerness, and rapt attention the very powerful article full of such in-depth, profound, and astute and acute sagacity at the link entitled, “That of God in Every Man”-What Did George Fox Mean by It? by Lewis Benson. What great food for thought this very fine and excellent article was for certain, sister! How relevant it is to state here that our relation to Creator is a personal connection of relationship like the relationship of a son to his father and a disciple to a teacher. What sweet words of brilliance discussing how “That of God in every man” is not humankind’s way of knowing like as to how we as people reason with intelligence. use our feelings, intuition. and our sense of natural conscience and sense of the law of morality. Our Spirit Creator gives us wisdom as it is shared and declared in this article from George Fox’s great thoughts as we as a people hunger for the voice and message of Spirit and the accompanying wisdom. I love so how George Fox thought this voice is personal and transcendent. with his deep reflections on “that of God in every man.” Wow, what words to quench our very spirits as to how as we wait upon God in “that which is God” we are then prepared to be wanting, willing, open, and receptive to receive the teachings of Spirit, and then to move forward in our very lives and spirits. Sister, along with your astounding sharing here on Love as a Verb, I can see a definite connection as to how Lewis Benson writes that the verbs which George Fox usually associated with “that of God” are the words, “answer,” and “reach.” I love so how the great aim with the goal of Quaker preaching in language of by works is to reach or answer something deep within people. Wow, this is wonderful here, my friend! How on point that “convincement” is a word denoting being influenced and led to act from Jesus’ teachings with being convinced with a repentant heart obeying Jesus and keeping the faith even when we are enduring, facing, and experiencing harsh circumstances. Wow, this great article has such magnificent and deep spiritual lessons in it helping all of us to learn, heal, and grow, sisterfriend! Sister, I read with such blessed joy in this awesome article about how witnessing Spirit urges us to use, and not to misuse and abuse, our beautiful nature and all of our natural environment. Wow, what great words for these times we have, my friend, with the severe urgency of climate change, Patricia!!!!! My great reading pleasure continues as I joyously read the splendidly glorious words that our very lives act as our preaching to “that of God in man.” What so, so very true words as we are called upon to with our lives to be the very overall epitome of bearing witness of Spirit to each of our sisters and brothers as our God’s children, sister! Wow, this stupendous article is very much indeed such great food for thought and I feel like I have been blessed with a wondrously wonderful learning experience by having the superbly super experience of reading it with such blessed joy, my friend!!!!! Sister, I thank-YOU so, so much for including and featuring this super article with your spirit-filled link, Patricia!!!!! Wow!!!!! Yay!!!!!

    Sister I’m just so, so very glad that you, your dear husband, and your house is safe, and that it was just a half-asleep, half-awake thought you had that perhaps your very home was on fire!!!!! Sister, I know what you mean about those half-asleep dream states, and the very blessed joy of becoming fully caffeinated after awakening.:)! Sister, I’m here with you and for you in declaring, “Praise be!,” and “Let’s love it.” Now I feel even better and brighter after joyfully reading this very awe-inspiring blog post article here and joyously responding with my very heartfelt, detailed, and thorough thoughts, ideas, and comments, Patricia!!!!! I am encouraged, emboldened, and uplifted being even more re-energized, renewed, rejuvenated, and reinvigorated, Patricia!!!!! You help me so, so very much with my very walk with Spirit, sister!!!!!! I thank God continually for YOU, sisterfriend, and for your blessed presence in my life, Patricia!!!!! Yay for YOU, Patricia!!!! Yay for our very sisterhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!! Yay!!!!! Please have such a totally terrific and a very thrilling Thursday, such a wondrously wonderful rest of your week and weekend ahead, and may all of your very days be so, so very especially blessed, Patricia!!!!! God so, so very much loves and cherishes YOU, Patricia, and so do I!!!!!!!!:)!!!!!!

    Very Warmly and Sincerely For Always, my so, so very For Always awesomely precious and dearly special soul sisterfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you’re For Always so, so very much, Patricia, with My and Spirit’s Peace and Love For You For Always, friend of mine, and with Blessings and Such Very Even More Blessings For You For Always, sister of mine,

    Yours For Always soul sisterfriend Christian black woman and For Always in the very great spirit of unity and solidarity, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa

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