I attended a workshop on "grassroots lobbying" yesterday at our Meetinghouse. A small group of activists is organizing "peaceful assembly" demonstrations at the offices of our senate and congressional representative's offices over the next couple of months to generally protest the war and specifically "pin" them to support bills that will withdraw troops from Iraq, bring the troops home and not increase funding for more military spending.
I've never done any lobbying and I'm looking forward to the experience of making my voice heard to 'the powers that be'.
I'm taking the kids; it'll be their lesson in civics for the day.
Today a bunch of Quakers are going together. We have a minute from the last Meeting for Business which shows that we have the support of our entire faith community in speaking about peace. The next time I go, I will be with Mothers Acting Up, a group of politically active, radical mothers and their children. Should be an experience for the pols and their staff to have a passel of toddlers in their office!
I'm still reading "Peaceable Kingdom" by Jan de Hartog. In it, George Fox preaches and Margaret Fell practices. Right now in the book, Margaret Fell is staying with children prisoners in the bowels of a castle dungeon because one of the children is condemned to hang in a short time and she wants to offer him as much comfort as she can before it's too late. It's really a quintessential tale of 'going into the belly of the whale' as Joseph Campbell would call it, sloughing off her ego layer by painful layer to find her true soul so she can know the Oneness of God. She doesn't want to be there, she is repulsed by the children, the jail, the guards, the smell, the other prisoners but she keeps hearing that still, soft voice say, "All he has is you".
I don't think I could do what she is doing (did-in her real life she did this). I think I would be more like Ann Traylor, her servant and companion, repulsed and terrified to the point of paralysis. But I can do this: I can get dressed in decent looking clothes and 'speak truth to power' today.
This is one of those "be careful what you wish for" kind of things but, as I've posted before, I long for a calling. I want to know that God is working through me in the way God can best use me. I trust my intuition to guide me but I feel lost right now when, for the first time in my life, my intuition is still. God is not distant from me; in fact, I feel more closely connected to the Divine than I ever have, but I feel no leading from my inner guide. I can only do what I know to be right and good and hope for some direction at some point.
For today I will gather with Friends to raise our voices to one of those who control the future of many, many poor people (this congressman sits on the house budget and armed service committees). I will attempt to speak from 'that of God' in me to 'that of God' in Jim (or whatever staff person we actually speak with). I glad and grateful I will be with Friends on this first foray into the political realm so I can learn by the example of my teachers.