Today at meeting for worship I realized this week marks 20 years since I attended my first meeting, at 15th Street Meeting in Manhattan. It was either 9/16 or 9/23/1990.
I went because I didn't like the buildup of US military forces in Saudi Arabia, following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The Quakers were speaking out against it, so I thought I'd check it out.
Months before, a friend of mine from where I worked, a major publishing house, had encouraged me to attend. She thought I would like it.
I found the meeting incredibly powerful, at a gut and heart level. It was just so profound to see this group of people sit in silence together, in the middle of the biggest US city.
At the rise of meeting, I introduced myself, and gave credit to my friend for encouraging me to attend.
She came up to me afterwards and said, "Chris, I don't think anyone here even knows me! I attend the meeting in Flushing, Queens. I just happened to come here today because we were running late and didn't have time to get out there."
Ah, synchronicity. It's been a consistent theme in my experience of Quakerism.
For those with ears to hear, let them hear.