In the last six weeks or so, I have been feeling incredibly held by my Meeting.
Some of it was being on the planning committee for Meeting for Grieving and Healing. Some of it has been another clearness process with which I've been engaged with the Meeting. Some of it has been my ministry oversight committee. Some of it has been my Faith and Practice study group. All of these have been opportunities for me to be in community; to nurture, develop, and be present with my connections with Friends and the Meeting as a whole; to minister; and to worship with Friends in deep ways.
This weekend at Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business, we are going to tackle two interesting and potentially challenging issues (that I know of), both of which I have strong feelings about. And I'm looking forward to it.
It's not that my Meeting is perfect. In the last ten months, I've witnessed some of the ways in which we've fallen down on our job of being in community with each other. But I've also witnessed some openings I've not seen in the other Monthly Meetings I've been part of. I've witnessed daring love and ministry. I've witnessed integrity. I've witnessed the Meeting as a whole being able to hold seemingly contradictory truths at the same time without diminishing either or denying the seeming contradiction. I've witnessed elephants in the living room (Meeting room?) being named and addressed with a minimum of drama.
Most of all, for me, I have come to feel known.
Writing that, it strikes me that my major complaint about our itinerant life has been that feeling of not being known. Not being seen, recognized, understood, and known for myself, for me, for who I am. That's something I've missed desperately from my life in Philadelphia. And yet, I was ready to leave Philadelphia for a short time, for many reasons -- one of which was that there were definitely ways in which I felt like people were seeing me through old lenses, and I thought leaving and coming back might help change that. As well as provide me some opportunities to grow. (But I sure thought my time away would be shorter! This has all been much different than what I expected.)
In Ann Arbor, particularly my last spring there, I started to feel known for myself in the context of a small handful of people, mostly related to Judaism, music, and dance. That was such a blessing.
But I have never felt as known, or as held, by a Meeting community as I do right now, or felt how much that can affect my life.
I don't know what's going to happen in Meeting for Worship with Attention to Business this First Day. I don't know what's going to happen in the workshop I'm leading at Gathering in two weeks. (How many people? How many taking it precisely because they're uncomfortable? Is my workshop going to merge with the high school women's Goddess workshop or not?) I don't know where Beloved Wife and I are looking for our next apartment, or what combination of things I'm going to be doing this fall.
But I am not afraid.
Because I can tell that I am held.
And it's powerful.