Quakers say that “God dwells within everyone.” What does it look like to take that seriously?
Quaker Voluntary Service has opportunities for young women and men interested in social and personal transformation through service work and living in Quaker community.
- O says that when she encounters the divine in another person, she has a tendency to bow, “because of the Quaker testimony that that of God dwells within everyone.” What body motion feels most natural to you when you encounter the divine?
- What is a time that you have experienced the “visceral truth” that God dwells in everyone?
- What would your life look like if you constantly recognized that you were standing on holy ground?
1st Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells within you? Do you not know? Do you not know?
My statement is: I am always at Meeting for worship. How could I not be?
This Earth is the meeting place. This is the meeting place. And that which surrounds the Earth is worthy of worship. It’s worthy.
No matter where I stand, I am on holy ground. I’m always on holy ground, no matter where I am. So there’s that piece. How could I not be in worship no matter where I stand, when you look at the bigger picture. When you don’t get caught up in the minutiae.
But the other piece is—from Quaker concept—the other piece is a part of our testimony is that that of God dwells in everyone.
So I’m always at worship. I’m always given the opportunity to be in communion with God. I’m always in God’s presence.
I have a body tendency to bow often. My body does that naturally, and it does that because of the Quaker testimony that that of God dwells within everyone. And I believe that. That’s not words for me. That is visceral truth.
And so whenever I’m in the presence of most people, there is a part of me—sometimes it’ll be a small bow, sometimes its a big bow, depending on the conversation. But my body naturally does that. And I sometimes have to talk my body out of doing it because I know it might freak somebody out or make somebody uncomfortable so I’ll do a small unnoticeable bow—because I’ve heard God speak in the other person. I’ve heard God speak through them.
And sometimes I give myself and my body permission and I do bow and I do touch feet and I do say thank you, knowing that I’m telling God “thank you” for giving me the opportunity to hear.
So I’m always at Meeting for Worship. I’m always at worship. I know nothing other than being at worship, which is exciting. It’s an exciting way to live. And I have Quakers to thank for that, I mean really it has come from the concept that that of God dwells within everyone and to really take that seriously, to not have that just be words. Yay Quakers!