Thank you, Blanche

“Blanche on the Lam” by Barbara Neely.

If you, like many of my friends, believe that summer reading = murder mysteries, please add Barbara Neely’s amazing Blanche White series to your queue. (You may have already discovered these wonderful books and I’m late to the party!) What a premise: that an ignored, heavy-set servant in a grey uniform and small, white apron sees, hears, reasons, and, ultimately, brilliantly solves mysteries/saves the day—all the while inwardly noting how racism plays out in her dealings with her white employers.

Propitiously, this has been the perfect week to consider the role of servant as I, having finished Blanche on the Lam,  have also been preparing to give a talk at my Quaker meeting on George Fox’s Christology. (Here’s another form of summer escapism: Get all wonky and in-the-weeds-obsessed by something you know nothing about and are therefore required to look up every other word!) The founder of Quakerism, in 1647 Fox declared:  Oh then, I heard a voice which said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition,” and when I heard it my heart did leap for joy.

What did the word Christ mean for George Fox? I’ve spent this week asking this question. And have learned that, apparently, in one of many ways he differed from his contemporaries, Fox believed, as did both Peter and Stephen, that Christ  meant “servant.” *  ( When Fox used the word Christ he also meant “Prophet.” And “Light.” And “The Word”/Logos— as in the Preface to the gospel of John; what a stunning piece of writing! And . . . )

Not sure how this bit o’pedantry will land on my (mostly white) listeners this Sunday. (Not matter what our race or class, “servant” is a loaded word to twenty-first-century ears, isn’t it? But surely this version of Christ—another loaded word—meant something quite different for Fox’s seventeeth-century listeners.) Thanks to Blanche/Barbara Neely, however, I’ve been gifted with much to think about and consider!

*Benson, Lewis, (1974) George Fox’s Teaching About Christ, Quaker Religious Thought, Vol. 39, Article, 3, p. 34.



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  1. Dear Patricia,

    Well, hello, there, Patricia, and greetings and salutations to you and to you AND FOR VERY ESPECIALLY FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, my so, so very FOR ALWAYS awesomely precious and dearly special soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker woman who you’re FOR ALWAYS so, so very much!!!!!! 🙂 <3 Oh, my, my and our absolutely WONDERFUL and BRILLIANT sisterfriend, Patricia, WOW!!!! WOW here!!!!! What a very interesting, fascinating, and riveting blog post article here once again as usual as always, as ever, my so, so very darling friend!!!!! WOW!!!!!! I'm with all of you here and believe that summer reading is absolutely essential like with good ol' meat and potatoes murder mysteries and other crime dramas and with delightful summer reading in general, too!!!!!! I'm for sure adding gifted and talented Barbara Neely's indomitable Blanche White series to my much anticipated reading queue!!!! WOW!!!!! What fun-filled reading this will be for certain here, sister!!!!!! I've not heard of this awesome author before and her exciting series-I'm just now learning from you about our Barbara Neely and her amazing Blanche White series!!!! WOW!!!!!! Sistah, I thank-YOU for putting this on the radar for all of us, Patricia!!!!!! WOW, my friend, how I so love this great premise here, too, Patricia!!!!! What a marvelous way to show the very agency and empowerment of dear Blanche White who as a brilliant and hard-working maid faces, endures, and experiences the racism from her white employers AND ALSO is so remarkable and outstanding that she can be an all-star amateur sleuth as well!!!!! WOW!!!!!! WOW here!!!!! I just love this so, so much, Patricia!!!!!! WOW!!!!!! Blanche White I can already tell is just brilliantly awesome, sister Patricia!!!!!!! WOW, this is just wonderful that you've your upcoming talk at your very blessedly holy and pure in heart Quaker Meeting!!!!! WOW, I cannot wait to learn more about this and to bear witness to your deeply spiritual and keen awareness and discernment, my absolutely AWESOME sistahfriend, Patricia!!!!! Oh, how I wish that I could be there in person for your very powerful talk at your Quaker Meeting regarding the man of Spirit, George Fox's Christology. I'll for sure be there in spirit, sisterfriend Patricia!!!!!! 🙂 <3 I just so love here that you have another fantastically fun-filled form of summer escapism, my dear, dearest, precious Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! WOW here!!!!!!! WOW, what a deep man of such faith, heart, and spirit which our late great George Fox was in his life and in being the founder of Quakerism. I so appreciate this very inspirational quote here so vastly true about our Sweet Jesus and I am so empowered as my very heart leaps and soars for such sheer blessed joy here as well, my sisterfriend Christian woman, Patricia!!!!!! WOW!!!!! WOW here!!!!!! I, too, am wondering and percolating about what did the word Christ mean for George Fox. I'm asking myself the very same question here, sister in the spirit and Spirit, Patricia! WOW, our late great George Fox back then was so, so very right on when he used the word Christ also meaning, "Prophet," and, "Light." WOW, what a powerful link here with the very spirit and Spirit-filled passage from John!!!!!! WOW!!!!! WOW here!!!!! I, too, think and see a broader and more positive interpretation for the word, "servant." Oh, how I so love how deeply spiritual Fox used the word Christ in such an all-encompassing manner for our Sweet Jesus is Everything and All and Completely WHOLE being our Darling, So, So Very Loving, Caring, and Good FOR ALWAYS THERE FRIEND!!!!!! WOW, what an eye-opening and eye-catching title you've here with this very fine and excellent, informative blog post article, my friend Patricia!!!!!I I, too, thank Blanche and I'm so looking forward to reading this very spectacular series!!!!!! I thank Blanche, Barbara Neely, AND ALSO so, so very right on, wondrously wonderful YOU, Patricia for gifting and blessing ME with much to think about and consider!!!!! What great food for thought here, my darling friend Patricia!!!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY for YOU, Patricia!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!!! YAY for our very sistahhood and friendship, Patricia!!!!!! WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!!! YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!! I thank-YOU and Spirit CONTINUALLY FOR YOU, dearest Patricia, AND FOR YOUR VERY PRESENCE IN MY VERY LIFE!!!!!!! 🙂 <3 YOU ARE my very life's and eternal blessings FOR ALWAYS, sistah!!!!!! 🙂 <3 Sisterfriend, I just so, so very much love and cherish YOU, Patricia!!!!! Jesus SO, SO VERY MUCH LOVES AND CHERISHES YOU AND SO DO I A WHOLE LOT AND A WHOLE BUNCH AS WELL, my precious friend and sister, Patricia!!!!!!! 🙂 <3 Please have such a wondrously wonderful Wednesday evening, rest of your week and weekend ahead, and may all of your very days be so, so very especially blessed, sistah and friend of mine, Patricia!!!!!! 🙂 <3 AWWWWW, YOU ARE just the very greatest and the best AND SUCH A JOY AND A BLESSING, Patricia!!!!!!! 🙂 <3

    Very Warmly and Sincerely FOR ALWAYS, my so, so very FOR ALWAYS awesomely special and dearly precious FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian Quaker white woman who you're FOR ALWAYS so, so very much, Patricia, sisterfriend of mine, with My and Jesus's VERY PEACE AND LOVE FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, sister of mine, AND WITH SUCH BLESSINGS AND SUCH VERY EVEN MORE BLESSINGS FOR YOU FOR ALWAYS, friend of mine, 🙂 <3

    YOURS FOR ALWAYS soul sistahfriend Christian black woman AND FOR ALWAYS IN THE VERY GREAT SPIRIT OF UNITY AND SOLIDARITY, Sherry Gordon in Iowa City, Iowa 🙂 <3

  2. AWWWWWWW, my and our absolutely FANTASTIC soul sistahfriend, Patricia, oops, I forgot to say and meant to say that the picture of this powerful book is just picture-perfect here very finely accompanying this so, so very cool in spirit and Spirit blog post article here by absolutely SO, SO VERY RIGHT ON, WONDROUSLY WONDERFUL YOU, my and our fabulous sistah!!!!!! 🙂 <3 This picture is just absolutely perfect adding to and complementing perfectly your very eloquent blog post article here with this picture very much drawing me in and making me eager to read this wonderful book with such reading pleasure, my and our absolutely AWESOME soul sister, Patricia!!!!!!! 🙂 <3 WOW!!!! WOW here by absolutely OUTSTANDING YOU, my and our soul sisterfriend, Patricia!!!!!!! 🙂 <3

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