I have heard it said that the longest journey is the journey from the head to the heart. It can take an amazingly long time for something we know in our heads to sink down into our hearts and become alive there, known in our emotions and our inner being. When the finally happens, it seems like a door is opened and we feel like we are seeing something for the first time. At the same time we marvel that we could not see this before, it was right there in front of us all this time.
George Fox, in his journal makes reference to Scripture being opened to him. Certainly Fox had an incredible head knowledge of Scripture. It was said that if the Bible were to be lost, Fox could recreate it from memory. But he make note of those times when his understanding became something more than just knowing the words, but of seeing how they impacted him or those around him. He came to a new understanding of what he already knew.
I had such an experience recently with Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I came to see that even having imperfect parents and an imperfect childhood and living in imperfect communities could not keep me from the love of God. The sense that I had internalized that I was unloved and unlovable is not the truth. I have experienced the love of God in a number of ways and a number of times. When those old messages about my being unloved and unlovable start playing in me, I can remember that they are false and that there is a different and better truth.
As Friends we believe that God lives in us. This means that God's love also lives in us because God is love. Our challenge is to experience that love and then to express it in our lives and to those around us. The challenge facing our meetings and other Friends communities is to express that love so that anyone coming into that community can feel it. This is an act of devotion because in it we seek to embody God in ourselves and in our lives. It is also an act of service because, by learning to express our love more fully, we heal the scars in ourselves and each other that come from living in imperfect families, imperfect communities and an imperfect world.