From the book, Without Apology:
A Friends meeting hosted an interfaith conference. During a break, the meeting’s Clerk fell to talking with a priest, a rabbi and an imam about the nature of God.
Despite everyone’s good intentions, they soon began to argue: God was a trinity, contended the priest; oh no, the imam retorted, Allah is One; the rabbi nodded at this, but insisted the Most High was truly revealed only in the Torah, not the Quran. And so it went, growing more heated with every exchange.
The Clerk sat mostly silent, wringing her hands and trying to remember the main points of the Alternatives to Violence workshop she’d attended the previous month.
The argument was interrupted by a sudden thunderclap that shook the building and rattled an open window. As the four believers trembled in awe, a piece of paper blew through the window and floated to the table in front of them.
The Clerk cautiously picked it up and looked it over. “It’s a message,” she said, and began to read:
“‘My children,”’ it said, “‘why do you wrangle over words? My glory and mystery surpass all your human imaginings, and I love each of you equally. Now cease your senseless quarrels, and get on about my work in your wonderful, needful world.”’
The abashed clerics bowed their heads in prayer.
After a moment, the Clerk cleared her throat.
“Um,” she added quietly, “It’s signed, “‘Thy Friend, God.”’
My buddy Garrison — well, I did meet him once, and he even told me a couple of his secrets, which I blabbed here in 2016.
And we’re the same age; we always are, except for the sad months of September until early December. He gets older first.
And now he’s charging into the post-pandemic, and I’m glad to see it, and will let him tell much of his new story right here, as a guest post. Not least, because he starts out with a truth that applies to us both:
GK: I don’t need another career, but once a writer, always a writer–
Continue reading Garrison Keillor Goes Contemporary
One of the advantages of age is finding old jokes one has forgotten about, so they’re new again. Like these Quaker gems that just turned up:
The Clerk had just worked through an extended monthly business meeting, where unified decisions were hard to come by.
After a long silent pause, she glanced down at the agenda.
“I believe we have one more item,” she said, “a report on the new Queries. Is the committee ready with a final draft?”
A Male Friend of a certain age stood up. His expression was a bit sheepish. “Clerk, please,” he said, “I don’t think we’re quite finished, but we did come to unity on sharing some newly-proposed ones.”
“Very well,” Abraham,” the Clerk said, as he unfolded a sheet of paper. “Proceed.”
Continue reading Transitional Quaker humor: Some New Queries