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The Truth is Continuously Revealed

Photo: Timothy Eberly - Unsplash
When reflecting on the idea of truth, it occurs to me that, in my experience, people tend to define it as whatever they want it to be – whatever is convenient. The Truth for which we must strive is from the Spirit; it requires an openness to divine will, no matter the form it takes. It may not be an overtly ‘religious’ message that we are meant to embody, but it will definitely be spiritual in nature. The quote from Jane Stokes evokes this same idea: “Whichever sphere of activity we are involved in, we have to be responsive to the Spirit’s leadings and try to put into practice our deepest beliefs, for our faith…is not excluded [even] from our workplace, wherever that may be” (Stokes). This is especially poignant in a workplace like mine (a public school) in which talk of God or spiritual matters is not permitted. This prescription holding to the separation of church and state cannot keep Spirit from working, however. Every action I take and every decision I make regarding protecting my students and keeping them safe is rooted in the Truth of the Spirit. I try to see each student as a precious gift, even though some of them challenge that by their behavior. I engage in restorative justice wherever possible, trying to glean from each situation the Truth that will help engender growth and development instead of seeking punitive solutions. As I have reflected before, I am not always successful, but the intent is always there to listen to the promptings of the Spirit and act accordingly in Truth.

It is very apparent, if one listens to mainstream media, that our U.S. society is falling apart rapidly. It is during times like this that we need prophets to “call us to ‘stay woke’; to see what is wrong and name it” (Randall). In my little sphere of influence, I have tried to bring to light the problems that underlie systems of injustice. I encounter each day people who espouse views of racism, homophobia, and misogyny. When I see these, I attempt to listen to the Spirit to discover what I can do to address these issues. Again, I am not always successful in stopping them, but I believe that the only thing that will allow these societal ills to continue is to do nothing. We must, as Friends and as people of Truth stay ‘woke’ if we are to live as God intended and be Light for the rest of humanity.

The idea of ‘wokeness’ has prompted many to mock any form of awareness of the plight of the marginalized of society. This attitude is what William Charles Braithwaite says allows the “evils which have struck their roots deep in the fabric of human society” to thrive if they are not brought into the light. The views that have “lurk[ed] unsuspected in the system of things” (Braithwaite) for many years were given permission in the last several years to be publicly proclaimed without compunction. If we do not stand up and rail against the injustices these attitudes promote, we are no better than the ones who are sending the message. The call to action in all this is to first become aware of the Truth of what is happening (not just take at face value everything we hear), test our response against our sense of the Divine, and then walk in love as we strive to reshape the world around us into a world of love rather than hate.

Lisa Erazmus