September 2001 (Vol. XIV, No. 8)

GREETINGS, dear friends, as we move into a new season, a new focus for many ... a time to pause remembering that deep silence awakens the power of your inner being, your clarity of mind, and your intuitive wisdom. Your silence will enhance whaeer you do, whatever the task. May the Work you are called to offer in service to others, to the world, bear the "trademark" of the light you are.

Important work that anybody can do

This is a story about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. There was important Work to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did. Somebody was angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

~ from a Friend of Silence in Philippines
The masters of wisdom
By John G Bennett

To do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value

Do not forget that the value and interest of life is no so much to do conspicuous things as to do ordinary things with the perception of their enormous value.
~ Teilhard de Chardin

What good work is about

Good work is really all about love's way

~ Fran Peavey
Heart Politics Revisited
By Fran Peavey

Barter my labor instead of my soul

Sandy and Ginny knew what they wanted to create for their neighborhood. They started with three goals: to make a safe place for everyone; to offer nourishing meals affordable to all people; to offer job training and work experience.

"We talked to a lot of people, but I was struck that one of our future customers said: 'Create a place where I can barter my labor instead of my soul.'"

 

~ from ORDINARY GRACE by Kathleen A. Brehony

Work flows out of your fullness

Villagers in AFrica are interested not in accumulation but in a sense of fullness. Abundance means a sense of fullness, which cannot be measured by the yardstick of the material goods we possess or the amount of money in a bank account. Abundance, in that sense of fullness, has a power that takes us way from worry. It is the kind of feeling you get when you are in communion with the natural, in communion with the source. There is some sense in which the work,, or the love of work, is the love of this kind of abundance. It is the kind of fullness you get by being with other people. Most work done in the village is done collectively. The purpose is not so much the desire to get the job done but to raise enough energy for people to feel nourished by what they do. The nourishment does not come AFTER the job, it comes BEFORE the job and DURING the job. The nation that you should do something so that you get paid so that then you can nourish yourself disappears You are nourished first, and then the work flows out of your fullness.
~ from THE HEALING WISDOM OF AFRICA by Malidoma Some with thanks to Fredi Brown

Rules for an icon painter

Rules for an icon painter: During work, pray in order to strengthen yourself physically and spiritually; avoid, above all, useless words, and keep silence.

~ from PRAYING WITH ICONS by Jim Forest
Praying with Icons
By Jim Forest

May the work you do make your heart sing

May the work you do make your heart sing,
and my the vocation you choose be LOVE.

~ Anonymous

God is absorbed in work

God is absorbed in work, and hears
the spacious hum of bees, not the din,
and hears far-off
our screams. Perhaps
God listens for prayers in that wild solitude.
And hurries on with weaving:
till it's done, the garment woven,
our voices, clear under the familiar
blocked-out clamor of the task,
can't stop their
terrible beseeching. God
imagines it sifting through, at last, to music
in the astounded quietness, the loom idle,
the weaver at rest.

~ "The Task" by Denise Levertov

What is my work?

I have one longing only: to grasp what is hidden behind appearances... What is my work? ... to let the mind fall silent that I may hear the Invisible calling.
~ Nikos Kazantzakis

True vocation joins self and service

True vocation joins self and service, as F. Buechner asserts when defining vocation as "the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need." Buechner's definition starts with the self and moves toward the needs of the world: it begins, wisely, where vocation begins – not in what the world needs (which is everything), but in the nature of the human self, in what brings the self joy, the deep joy of knowing that we are here on earth to be the gifts that God created.
~ from LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK by Parker Palmer

Moved quite naturally and joyfully to serve others

Once God has become a living reality for us, we simply have to love others. We cannot do otherwise. And once we live in love, we are moved quite naturally and joyfully to serve others. God is love and if we live in union with God, we have the strength and longing to love others. Service is a spiritual activity, the natural fruit of love.
~ from WISDOM OF SUNDAR SINGH

To do the smallest thing so supremely well

A pair of long, black woolen stockings hung there, and in one of them a huge darn. A perfected circle of calmly woven thread, no bobble or tug, no tension, no rough knot. Only someone very special, stable, and peaceful could make that kind of darn. To me it was a work of art. To do the smallest thing so supremely well, it had to be done with Love.
~ from ON PILGRIMAGE by Jennifer Lash
On Pilgrimage
By Jennifer Lash

Seed sowed in weakness and in the dust of daily life

Many a humble soul will be amazed to find that the seed it sowed in weakness, in the dust of daily life, has blossomed into immortal flowers under the eye of love.
~ Harriet Beecher Stowe
Household Papers And Stories
By Harriet Beecher Stowe

Work made holy

Over many a Sabbath the lads showed me where the rabbit warrens were, and the places in the rocks along the coast where the plovers hid their eggs, to be looked at but never disturbed. For hardy lads they had a gentle touch with flowers, and the discovery of a tiny bloom hidden beneath the leaves of a larger plant would draw from them both a sudden intake of breath. In the same manner that we played, so too we worked, and we made of work a thing of joy, for even hard work shared is work made worthwhile, and when shared with those we love, it is work made holy. So, I believe, not because someone taught me with some words, but because, clear and simple, that was the way of it.
~ from DARK THE NIGHT, WILD THE SEA by Robert McAfee Brown
Dark the Night, Wild the Sea
By Robert McAfee Brown