Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Hosting the Spirit

Where does the spirit find a home? In you and in me.

God, or the gods, were thought to live on mountain tops and precipitous places – very atmospheric, very impressive. Later, people would build a temple or acropolis, of the finest aromatic woods or the cleanest, whitest marble, on top of a hill, would dedicate it to Pallas Athena and call the city Athens. Maybe in those days, they felt it was necessary to suck up to the gods in order to be safe. It also impressed the locals.

We Quakers believe that the spirit resides in each of us human beings – not just in those who believe as we do, but in all of us. This being so, what sort of home do you offer the spirit, not just in your body but in your self? Just as it is important to offer hospitality to anyone who needs it, so it is essential to look after the spirit whom you house for a while in your life – by paying careful and loving attention to what you do to your body, your eating and hygiene, mental and spiritual nourishment, as well as physical.

The one sort of person who usually pays this careful and loving attention to how she looks after herself, because she is now hosting someone else, is a pregnant woman. But all of us, including those who are not pregnant women, would do well to look after our sacred guest with the same care.

1 comment:

Sharon Langridge said...

I like this way of looking at it - thanks, Paul.