“I saw also that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. And in that also I saw the infinite love of God; and I had great openings.”
Although Friends are not supposed to have “sacred texts,” these words from George Fox’s diary still have authority for us. Perhaps, in our time of unpredictable change and dread, it can help us to imagine that the oceans of darkness and light are one ocean: variously lighted waters surge through and intimately commingle with each other.
The pandemic has now struck Russia in her turn: residents of Moscow are living under harsh restrictions; the number of cases and deaths is rising alarmingly.
During our twenty-five years of Quaker witness in the post-Soviet world, Friends House Moscow has navigated many an undertow and rip-tide. As one of our staff once said,”The situation is unpredictable. Here, that is normal”. We have active relationships with many Russian peace-makers and human rights workers. Like each of us in our own nations, they are now striving to maintain precious social bonds and to demonstrate goodwill across physical distances. Like some of “us,” some of “them” see this as a time, not just to maintain community, but as an “opening,” an opportunity to re-imagine what it might be.
This “coronavirus special” newsletter tells how Friends, and our projects, are keeping in touch and continuing to help some of the most vulnerable people in society.
A longer version of these stories – and more – can be found on our website here: www.friendshousemoscow.org/coronavirus-special