Chapter 2 » 2.79

Meeting for worship

Enriching worship

Friends are not usually noted for their art and in earlier periods of their history they objected to paintings, theatre, music and novels. But they did adopt one distinctive art form and made it their own – the spiritual journal. It became the characteristic way in which early Friends told the story of their journeys, both their inward pilgrimage and their outward travels. It is from his journal that we learn that John Woolman was not always pacific or self-controlled and had to wrestle with his desire to impose his own will on others. And we take comfort from the fact that self-doubt and uncertainty were part of his journey as they are of ours.

In this century the practice of journal keeping is being explored as a way of becoming aware of the patterns of our inner life, of growing in self-knowledge and discovering our own gifts and possibilities… Keeping a journal is just one way … of beginning to re-create your life. At its most basic it is a decision that your life has value and meaning and deserves the effort of recollection and reflection. It is also a decision that what you are living and learning is worth recording. That decision has its roots in a very deep layer of gospel truth.

Jo Farrow, 1986

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