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Drawn into a Painting


There is something of God’s spirit in each of us.” – Quaker beliefs

Oh, the power of a painting! I was charmed to see a well-executed canvas of Little Falls Friends Meeting House in the plein air exhibit I attended at Liriodendron Mansion last month. My apologies to the artist for this poor photograph. Light was streaming so brightly into the gallery space it was impossible to get a photo without reflection nor could I read the artists name.

I’ve been familiar with Quaker culture nearly my whole life since my second cousin spent her career teaching at the formidable Friends School in Baltimore, MD. She’s suggested several times that I, being a contemplative type, ought to experience a Sunday at a Friends meeting house. The painting drew me one step closer to her recommendation.

It was not a Sunday but one spectacularly beautiful Thursday I set out to find the Little Falls Friends meeting house. The placid setting as well as the sign at the door piqued my interest even further.

I’m open to a variety of spiritual experiences so I’ve made a vow to return on a Sunday to experience what it’s all about so I can discuss a Quaker meeting with my relative. At 92 years of age, she’s still a lively, intelligent conversationalist. What a gift to listen to her tell stories of her years at Friends School.

The painting was like a little friendly persuasion coming from an artist to draw me into Sunday worship at the Little River Friends meeting house. And since the Quakers believe that all people are equal, the doors are open to anyone. I’m game.

A  marker at the eave end of building had a date of 1843.