Leadings are difficult to explain. As a scientist I work in a framework we like to believe is based upon facts and logic. But the more we learn about our world and how it works, the more we realize how much more there is that we don’t know or understand.
Spiritual matters are often seen as almost an opposing viewpoint. What our spiritual beliefs are and how we express the spiritual aspects of our lives don’t flow from the intellect, but from what we are able to discern and understand of that spirit that does live within us all, connecting us all to each other and everything in our world and beyond. The heart versus the head.
As a Quaker scientist I don’t have a problem with the idea of integrating the science and the spirit in my life–the actual accomplishment of that doesn’t always go as well as I’d like. But I have faith that it will always, eventually, happen.
Yesterday I awoke with a strong leading to raise up the issue of the lead contamination of the water supply of the city of Flint, Michigan. Perhaps it was because I am sensitive to the profound and lifelong effects of neurological damage in children because of my work here at Riley Hospital for Children. Maybe it was because I have been learning more and more about the privileges of being white in our society. Maybe because I see more situations where people could help, but choose not to do so. Maybe because I see friends of mine working so hard with Black Lives Matter, and seeing how they are affected when the message seems, time and again, to be that black lives just do not matter.
Water is obviously essential for life. And we depend upon our municipal governments to supply us with clean, safe water. But in Flint, Michigan, saving money was more important than the well being of the citizens the government is supposed to represent and serve. And the government is resisting accepting blame and fixing the problem. These people need our help. The problem is urgent because of how essential water is for life.
So I reached out to everyone I could think of. I also made suggestions that people write letters to the editor, contact their representatives, contact authorities in Michigan.
I only received one response which I really appreciated (anonymous since I haven’t asked permission to share the name) “Thank you for sharing this call to action, Jeff. I feel your prophetic rage. I pray that Friends respond to this injustice.”
But the thing about leadings is that you try to do what the leading is telling you to do, and whatever response there is or isn’t, is really not what you are concerned about. Very often one learns in another time and place, that someone did do something in response. We are supposed to sow the seeds. What happens next is out of our hands.