[Green Acre‘s peace flag, Bahai School, Retreat and Conference Center, Eliot, Maine]
“War’s good for business,” a member of my Quaker meeting commented a few years ago. For years, every Sunday, he has taken it upon himself to count how many people have shown up for meeting for worship. So by business, he means—with irony and with deep pacifistic conviction—the headcount of bowed heads during Vietnam or the Gulf War or—so many to chose from!
But, of course, there’a a darker truth to his observation. War is good for business. For the fossil fuel industry. And for companies like Textron, maker of cluster bombs,* and just a few miles away from my Quaker meeting. Once a month for the past five years, a few stalwart souls from my meeting, rain or shine or sleet or hail, worship on the sidewalk in front of Textron. [“Showing Up”] And one Sunday every October, Friends Meeting at Cambridge’s meeting for worship happens at Textron.
So, yes, this October, our country engaged in yet another war, I noticed that more people showed up at Textron to worship knee-to-knee than had attended last year. (My f/Friend noticed too, no doubt!)
For me this year, that outdoor worship—on a crisp fall day with October sun on my face, a nearby tree is full autumn glory, birds singing—was about “I must be about my Father’s business.”
How deeply I felt that call!
*This link is to an appalling article in today’s “New York Times.”