When Carter Nash decided to take seriously the Bible verse “God is love,” it changed everything.
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I think walking a path of love is just what’s necessary. I think it’s something that was instilled long before I became a Quaker. When I found Quaker meeting, it was like, “Wow, these people really believe this, and they practice it.”
Being God’s Hands
I’m Carter Nash, I live in Lower Paxton, Pennsylvania which is just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and my meeting is Harrisburg Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends.
Quakers believe in that of God in everyone. Recently I have pretty much redefined for myself how I think of the term God. It goes to a biblical passage. That passage is, “God is love” and so I think of “that of God in everyone” as that of love in everyone, and so I try to relate to everyone with love. Amongst Quakers, I have found that is what they do with me.
Responding with Love
Thinking of God as love is a matter of having love direct everything in life. If somebody does something that might anger me, responding in love. If there is hatred going on around me, looking to see how in a loving way I can address it because that is what I believe God within me and God within the other people want.
I believe that people will respond to love, because I believe people respond to God. And if God is love, that is what people will respond to, is love. I think that’s the key to a lot of things and to a lot of problems in the world, because if we truly believe in God and we truly believe that God is love as we were taught, and we act on that–and I believe that we are God’s hands here–then everything we do needs to be rooted in love.
Meeting for worship helps recharge and re-energize me. When we’re gathered in silence, we are opening ourselves. We do what we call “centering down,” and that is opening ourselves up to allow the spirit of God to fully take over us. After the meeting ends, we go out into the world and do God’s service, and do his work.
That is how Meeting for worship helps ground me and that’s how my Quakerism helps to ground me. I know that at any time, I can sit by myself anywhere and tap into that energy. That love that is in me, it just goes on. The love that is shown by Friends to me and that I see us showing to others energizes me to pass it on and to continue doing it.
- Have you ever given serious thought to the passage “God is love?” If that’s true, what does it mean for you?
- Carter Nash says, “I think of ‘that of God in everyone’ as that of love in everyone, and so I try to relate to everyone with love.” If Quakers honor that of God in everyone and God is love, what does that mean for how we relate to those around us?
The views expressed in this video are of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Friends Journal or its collaborators.