Early Quakers developed the process of asking questions—queries—as a way of taking moral and spiritual inventories of themselves, as tools for discerning spiritual challenges within their spiritual and secular communities.
We at Cincinnati Friends Meeting pose our queries on an ongoing basis—when we gather for Centering Down to guide us into meditative worship, when we meet in discussion groups, as well as when we come together in our clearness committees.
Queries often come to us through our reading of the Bible and other spiritual works. Our task is to be open to whatever source may guide us to ensure that we do take moral and spiritual inventories of ourselves. The imperative for such inventories has never been more urgent than now in our current state of racial division. And so what query should we ask ourselves now?
Perhaps not this time from the Bible or other books, perhaps this time led to a query for our time from another source, from television from 2003–2005. It was the television show Joan of Arcadia, where every week a full-of-angst teenage girl had an encounter with God, never knowing what form God would take in each of those encounters. The theme song for the show was a hit written by Eric Bazilian and sung by Joan Osborne, and it asked the query that may be the one query we should be asking ourselves now: What if God is one of us? What if God is one of us, it asks, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on the bus? How then do we respond…change…act?
What if God is one of us!