2010 Women's conference Paper

 Power, Self-Discipline, and Love
From 2 Timothy
For the NPQWTC 2010      Peggy Senger Parsons

Power - I have been mentored by a dead woman for the last decade or so. Some people carry so much spiritual power that they do not have to be present for it to be felt.  Charlotte Macy died seven years before I became a Quaker.  But soon after I became convinced, her name started to come up and every time it did some alarm bell went off in my soul.  I started paying attention and seeking out stories. Every story had a lesson for me. The lessons are applied to my life on a regular basis. I believe in the communion of the saints - so I talk to her at times, Mostly she is quiet companion. But she doesn’t need to talk to mentor me, she is just there.

Self-Discipline - I have been eldered by a teen age girl.  Daniella Hayo took care of me, watched after my safety, she watched out for the things I am oblivious to.  She gave me important feedback on my ministry. With the holy boldness of youth, she told me the things that the adults wouldn’t have the nerve to say to me.  She told me when I was hitting the sweet spot and when I was shooting wide of the mark. She critiqued my fashion.  She prayed for me. She occasionally gave me deep personal advice - sometimes I even took it. She forgave me when I did not.

Love - I think our culture over-rates romance and under-rates devotion. A loyal, committed, devoted Friend is about the best kind of love a person can get.  I can’t maintain very many of these. I have four of them, I think.  I think I am very blessed. To be healthy they have to be two-way. If you maintain them well, it will limit other relationships.  These friends may ask you the tough questions, but they are on your side and you know it.  They make me want to live up to the image they have of me. I know, and they know, that I fall short, but they hold that image for me, the best me that they can see, and I reach for it.

Mentors, Elders and Friends - the very presence of a timeless, ageless living God.