The first was in talking with a representative from Ministry and Worship at Twin Cities Friends Meeting who had volunteered to talk with Judy and myself after our names came up in two committee meetings late last fall regarding the possibility that the Meeting might "lose" us. After several informal meetings with this representative, he asked us how did we see ourselves "moving forward." We then talked about some of the "obstacles." It is evident that several individuals in the Meeting have individual agendas that are fairly specific and they are "always bringing them up at the "expense" of other people's and the "Meeting's" agenda. I indicated that I understood this and that in several previous experiences, the Meeting would recognize the individual, but then proceed to deal with other agenda that was important to the Meeting. However, I also mentioned that the approach at TCFM and some other meetings I am now aware of that the response is that "We can't be perceived as upsetting any individual and therefore we can not move on anything that might upset anybody." The friend indicated that he had experienced the same thing with the last two meetings of his committee were taken up with "discerning" the specifics regarding a letter to an outside group regarding a concern that the Clerk of the committee had with a statement made by that group which had no real bearing on TCFM as a Meeting. I indicated that I felt with my fiscal, physical, and emotional limitations at this point I did not see a "way forward" within that "community" when there seemed no way to avoid confrontation with individuals who by default prevented the community from moving forward.
The second instance was yesterday in talking with my neurologist about my physical condition. He believes that I have "inflamed nerve roots near my spinal cord" which causes the numbness and lack of positional feedback from my hands and feet. This has been determined by elimination of "all" other causes for my condition. He asked me what I felt about "moving forward" in terms of how I experience my life (in physical terms). His question was with regard to possible treatments that posed some risks with only some possibility of any improvement and a significant possibility of no improvement. One treatment is VERY expensive (Tens of thousands of dollars over several months) and probably would mainly be covered by Medicare, but he was not sure since the diagnosis/treatment is rare. The second treatment is with steroids that might provide some improvement but at some "cardio-" risk with my history. I am consulting my cardiologist in a few weeks after a "Stress Test" and will decide at that time whether to proceed with the steroids or not.
I regret the very personal nature of this post, but when I ask myself the 3 BIG questions that were asked of Adam and Eve, Cain, and Elijah, I "have" to respond.
"Where are YOU?" Struggling very much with a "way forward."
"Where is YOUR brother?" Struggling with how to relate to others in the community.
"What are YOU doing HERE?" I. like Elijah, pull back into my "cave," but unlike Elijah, am not sure where God is sending me even though I do hear the "still small voice."