A personal experience of the half hour Quaker meeting for worship at “Present,” a shopfront near Leytonstone tube station, held on 11th Sept 2012.

About 10 min in to this Meeting for Worship I began to have the feeling that this was a really good meeting.  I felt peaceful, but waiting; sort of in touch, “gathered” as we call it.  In touch with what?  I call it God.

Then a Friend spoke about forgiveness – he’d just been to the F word exhibition in West London.  There were stories there of people forgiving other people the most awful acts.  He thought maybe if we could all forgive each other more our lives would be better.

Then a bit later one of the guests became rather restless and used the other F word.  Later he said ”waiting…waiting.”  That word certainly spoke powerfully to me.  I was sitting there thinking over and over:  “keep a green bough in your heart and the singing bird will come.”  This was a phrase which I have up on my wall at home – a friend wrote it for me in beautiful handwriting, and decorated it with pictures of flowers, about 30 years ago.  It has been up on my wall ever since.  I usually walk past it without noticing it, but for some reason I had noticed it this morning.  And now I sat with it: “keep a green bough in your heart and the singing bird will come.”  It felt to me that we were waiting on God, and God was around; I mean I think God is always around, it’s just I’m not always aware.  God is present.  And when I am more present then I know God is present, I can feel it.  And I could feel it here, presence.