Eugene Friends Meeting

Eugene Friends Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers")

Holding Nature in the Light

Quakers share a common practice of “holding someone or something in the light”. If you ask Friends what that phrase means you will get many different interpretations, because we each practice holding in our own peculiar way, and even the interpretation of the light varies: The light we refer to is described as an immense force, as a transcendent power, as Christ or God, as Divine love.

Our Faith and Practice calls holding in the light “a Quaker version of prayer that offers a concern about an individual or a situation to God’s love and guidance“. Holding in the light can be as simple as keeping someone in your thoughts and prayers, but it might also expand into a more involved practice.

Douglas Steere described it this way: “I hold persons up before God in intercession, loving them and seeing them with God, longing for a healing and redeeming power to course through their lives. I hold up certain social situations, certain projects. At such a time I often see things that I may do in company with or that are related to that person or this situation.”

Peace Pilgrim said, “I reach out—my divine nature reaches out—to contact their divine nature. Then I have the feeling of lifting them, lifting them, lifting them, and I have the feeling of bringing God’s light to them. I try to envision them bathed in God’s light until finally I do see them bathed in pure light. At that point, I leave them in God’s care. Visualize a pure, clear light within yourself, and then spread it out: first, to those about you—your circle of friends and relatives—next, to the whole world. Keep on visualizing God’s pure light surrounding all our earth.”

What might it mean, then, to hold NATURE in the light? At this time just past solstice, when the sun is at its strongest and we are all bathed daily in its warmth, how can we return the favor?

We reach out to connect with the spirit of a tree, a butterfly, a bird sitting in our yard, the earth below, the sky above, and all the diversity that nature holds. 

We picture the light of Divine love surrounding all of the earth, and we hold the earth and all of nature in this transcendent power, for healing and wholeness.

We also hold people (individuals, corporations, and governments) in the light as we each decide how to act towards the earth every day, that we may all find enlightenment and wisdom.

And – as we hold nature in the light, and all our actions that affect nature – we also stand, ourselves, in the sacred light that heals and guides, and lifts us from our worry and grief

“The first step of peace is to stand still in the Light.” ~George Fox 

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