This is, indeed, one of my treasured stories of Light on my spiritual journey.
It was one of the first times, if not THE FIRST, I came to worship with West Hills Friends. I was in the midst of a time of spiritual confusion, of losing faith in a theology that had carried me through childhood, young adulthood, and safely into my early thirties. But that day at West Hills I had nothing, and I didn’t understand why God (who I was no longer sure I trusted, much less believed in) would have let that happen.
I was tired of words, one reason I was seeking out Quakers. And I certainly didn’t want to hear or sing joyous songs of Our Faith. The old hymns and the newer stuff were noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.
That morning, a lone bluesman sat with his guitar and sang these words:
In my time of darkness
From that locked and raving lunatic, my heart,
I finally call
And You come, offering peace.
Somehow the combination of words and melody pierced me like a lightning strike. I, too, felt my heart to be locked, and raving like a crazed thing.
We have never argued
We just break out the flamethrowers and smash all resistance;
Put the ashes on TV.
Still He comes, offering peace.
The dark humor buoyed my spirit for a reason I still don’t understand and cannot explain, yet there was an answering spark of genuine hope that I felt as clear and bittersweet as the song itself. It was a new hope, a glimpse of the chance of a new faith.
I beg you listen
As He comes, offering peace, peace, peace. Amen
I asked Derek if I could use his song as part of my story, and he, Ruba, and Adam re-recorded it and posted it on YouTube. You can find it here: http://tinyurl.com/bh9nymo