Much to Be Modest About, Friends . . .

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.”’

5 thoughts on “Much to Be Modest About, Friends . . .”

  1. Thank goodness for interfaith conferences, the World Parliament of Religions, and the Inward/Inner Light in all our hearts – which loves us all, smooths out the differences and advises us against arguments.

  2. Good One, Chuck Fager, thanks!

    And looks like Without Apology is available from Pendle Hill! — intend to order — & sharing this superb joke with monthly meeting.

    Proud to be Humble, Kate

  3. We Quakers do have a tendency at times to be annoyingly smug about our “correct” views on worship. But I still laughed at this one.

    1. Me too! I’m one of those annoying perfectionists, a Number One on the enneagram. I have the urge to correct and perfect things all the time! So any picture that’s slanting gets corrected in my house and theirs, are I mumble to myself about how wrong it is for that person to have a missing button, etc etc.
      Oh dear Spirit of Love and Truth, forgive me each time I get critical of everything.

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