This passage really spoke to me this evening. Sitting on my backporch, enjoying the sun just catching the tops of the trees as it sets, with only the occasional snores of the poodle disturbing the silence.
"You are nourished by real experience far more than by the most precious words from the Bible and other devotional literature. Sitting in devotional silence seems hard. On occasion, silent waiting is like wrestling with an angel (as Jacob did), to wrest a blessing from the angel (not from a book!). On some days, the angel seems to be wrestling something from you: that something is a recognistion and acceptance by you of your own inner beauty and strength.
All the beautiful psalms and other heavenly verses came from a source of inspiration. When we insist on waiting on that Source for oursleves, until we "meet" it, then, at such time, what we feel and say and do comes freshly from that Source. By such first-hand experience, we understand how those heavenly verses came to be written. When we prepare to read them next time, we sit by the Source and understand them better than before."
passage from "A Little Journal of Devotions out of Quaker Worship: An experiment with 104 entries across two thousand miles", by Francis D. Hole and Ellie Schacter. Both authors, I believe, were members of Madison Monthly Meeting. I knew Francis, but not Ellie....