Things never run smoothly in this house. I think it is the sheer numbers ~ all of whom are madly disorganized.
So Liddy tells me she would like to come to Meeting with me this week. Being me I don't check any of my details until Sunday morning & forgot the local meeting only meets once a month, which did actually happen to be today. However Liddy went out to check the crab pots with Dino thinking 2 hours would give her ample time to get home & changed & on a boat with me. Ditz, point blank, refused to come anywhere where people sat in silence for a whole hour! After an hour I thought Liddy was cutting it fine so organized me. No Liddy. I went to the shop & organized money. No Liddy. The hands of the clock crept inexorably closer to 9 o'clock. No Liddy. At ten to I bolted for the boat on my own. No Liddy.
Now it's not that I minded going on my own...well I did; I hate meeting new people without a child to use as a shield between me & them, but I'm not that big a woos. Really I'm not. However Dearest does like us to go as a tag team. He says there's safety in numbers & we use each other for discernment, which we do. I was supposed to have at least one child with me. I might have stayed home but having got ready & psyched I could feel the Spirit giving me the sort of nudge it's rather hard to ignore & we haven't been in church in over a month so I was feeling pretty desperate.
The local meeting is only a suburb or so away. Easy~peasy unless you are the sort of directionless wonder I am. I kept pulling over to check my map & still managed to take a turn too early before turning left when I should have gone right, all of which meant I didn't arrive on time & slid into a seat just as everyone was settling into their meditation. This works for me. I didn't have to run the gauntlet before worship & could face strangers under girded by communion with the Lord. Better yet, it was such a lovely day the seats had been set up outside & the silence was full of sunlight breezes & twittering birds.
It has been so long since I've been in meeting I thought I might be uncomfortable, have trouble stilling & settling into the silence but it was like coming home. My thoughts rattled round for a bit but honestly, for me, it is such a relief to not be bouncing up & down like a yo~yo, singing worship songs before I've gathered my thoughts, having prayers while my mind's still on singing, & finding communion with the Lord just as the offering is being gathered up. My wits get so scattered ~ & as another Quaker once commented, 'There's nothing wrong with the music; it's just it's not what I want to sing.'
And what I like about this form of worship & why I struggle so much in a regular sort of service is that I always feel so damnably rude, shouting at the Lord, telling Him this, begging Him for that, & never once stopping to ask if there's anything He'd like to say to us. In the silence God's still small voice can be heard. No, it wasn't earth shattering but I still needed to hear that He is Jehovah Jireh, my provider & his grace is sufficient for me. At least it was the song God wanted me singing in my heart.
The local meeting consisted of just 6 people, all older, but the main meeting has at least 30 members & 20 children on its books; big enough for a children's meeting, which will please Ditz. For Oz that's a decent sized church. The island churches get between 6 & 10 regulars at present; numbers always drop in winter. The Meeting House is set in an acre & a half of rainforest ~ rejuvenated by Quakers. Liddy is now very keen, especially as I said she can drive in! No one will be put out if she wanders out of meeting & paddles through the bush communing with God in her own way as she so often does at home. Now, don't freak mamaO, I have already been asked to speak & no, I did not put myself forward. Do I look insane? I was quietly minding my own business which was drinking coffee & nibbling bickies. As a newbie what did I know about anything?
Before heading home I went & found my singing cousin as I discovered she was just a few streets away. She is another Ditz so we were noisy & theatrical & happily caught up on all the family goss.
This is not a solution. Once a month & nothing for the children is more a band aid but it is better than nothing, which is what's been happening. I don't think any of us want to trot into town every week & it starts getting expensive so we will keep looking for something else as well. We don't have to stay with just one church & can alternate to give everyone a little of what they need for the time being. I hate having to do it & I loathe even more travelling; I do so much as it is, but I was blessed & for once I got to just sit quietly with my Lord, more Mary than Martha, which, we are told, is the better part. ~:}