Camas Friends Church

A Quaker Meeting in Camas, WA

The power of a word by Marilyn Miller

chair presence

Think on these words: Hate……….Love……………. How did they make you feel when you were thinking on them? A single word can have a big impact on how you feel.

Choosing a word to focus on for the year has been part of how I face a new year for at least 15 years. I found resolutions just didn’t work, I don’t remember or keep them. Knowing this I decided to choose just one word or let it choose me to focus on for the year.

The first word that chose me was Patience. Oh my, what a word. Almost immediately I found I was tested. Wow! I wasn’t so sure I wanted this word. Focusing on patience helped me to take notice. There were people that were difficult to be patient with. Yes, I learned to in the future be more careful in what word I walked with, but more than that I learned the power of a word. Whew! Hard lesson!

One year I walked with the word Grace. I went though most of that year thinking what does Grace mean, I am not seeing anything here. Then about September, while I was working at Nike, I was moving my office across campus and decided to carry an armload of tubes of rolled patterns. I kept dropping them along the way and the trip across campus was becoming a challenge. Someone came out of one of the buildings and asked if he could help carry my load. I said, no I can do it myself. Again he asked as I kept dropping things. All of a sudden that word Grace just jumped up and grabbed me and said look. I said yes, I could use some help are you walking my way? He said no, but he would walk with me and help carry my load. Oh yes, Grace was there and it was a lesson I will never forget.

This past year I chose Shine. Throughout the year I really didn’t feel I had Shine in my life, but as I shared on my blog others said they saw the Shine by the way I lived my life. It caused me to stop and just look at how I choose to live, do I put myself out there with a smile? Do I offer a positive word to someone that needs one? The Shine was in the small things, it didn’t reach out and grab me, but it did say take note.

I am excited to see more people beginning to focus on a word, as it can make a powerful impact in each life.

As a church we will be focusing on Presence this year. Let us pause, listen, and be present to each other, our children, and those around us that need someone just to be present, sit awhile, give a hug, or hold a hand. I know there can be amazing things happen as we walk hand in hand with God and Presence. This may be a new concept for many of you, but I pray that as we focus together this year there will be stories to tell, maybe a piece of art to share, a poem, or a song that touches you with Presence.

Flickr image credit.

About Wess

is the William R. Rogers Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.


This entry was posted on January 14, 2014 by in Dialogues and tagged , .

Meeting Times for Worship

10:30am Coffee

10:45-12:15pm Sunday Morning Worship

11:15-12:15pm Nursery available for children 3 and under

11:30-12:15pm Godly Play for Children (ages 4 to 11) (info)

Contact Us

Phone: (360) 834-2446


Address:1004 NE 4th Ave Camas, WA 98607 (Map)

Twitter: @camasfriends

Facebook: camasquakers

AA and other 12 Step Groups: Info about AA, Al-Anon,etc.

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