This is, indeed, one of my treasured stories of Light on my spiritual journey.


It was one of the first times, if not THE FIRST, I came to worship with West Hills Friends.  I was in the midst of a time of spiritual confusion, of losing faith in a theology that had carried me through childhood, young adulthood, and safely into my early thirties.  But that day at West Hills I had nothing, and I didn’t understand why God (who I was no longer sure I trusted, much less believed in) would have let that happen.


I was tired of words, one reason I was seeking out Quakers.  And I certainly didn’t want to hear or sing joyous songs of Our Faith.  The old hymns and the newer stuff were noisy gongs and clanging cymbals.


That morning, a lone bluesman sat with his guitar and sang these words:


In my time of darkness

From that locked and raving lunatic, my heart,

I finally call

And You come, offering peace.


Somehow the combination of words and melody pierced me like a lightning strike.  I, too, felt my heart to be locked, and raving like a crazed thing.


We have never argued

We just break out the flamethrowers and smash all resistance;

Put the ashes on TV.

Still He comes, offering peace.


The dark humor buoyed my spirit for a reason I still don’t understand and cannot explain, yet there was an answering spark of genuine hope that I felt as clear and bittersweet as the song itself.  It was a new hope, a glimpse of the chance of a new faith.


I beg you listen

As He comes, offering peace, peace, peace.  Amen


I asked Derek if I could use his song as part of my story, and he, Ruba, and Adam re-recorded it and posted it on YouTube.  You can find it here: