shopify traffic stats
Is God Really Within Everyone? Barrie's Blog | Barrie Mahoney

'Writing Inspired by an Island in the Atlantic'

Is God Really Within Everyone?

Most of us will have been shocked and horrified by the current criminal case involving the murder of many babies who were in the care of a young and deeply troubled nurse. Yet again, the wilful destruction of life is on our minds and challenges our understanding of goodness and, indeed God. Why did this happen? Why was it allowed to happen? Who is ultimately responsible? These are just some of the current questions being asked, together with cries for justice. We also know that the pain and anguish felt by parents who have lost a child is even greater under such tragic and cruel circumstances. We feel their pain but have no answers.

Regular readers will know that I am a Quaker, yet my mind is often troubled by the often-expressed Quaker view of ‘That of God in Everyone”, or words to that effect. I know many Quakers use this phrase when trying to explain to others about what it is to be a Quaker. Indeed, I have sometimes used this phrase, particularly when looking for an answer that isn’t too complicated when replying to a question about why I am a Quaker. The more cynical have often followed up my reply with a puzzled “What about Hitler, Mussolini or (currently) Putin? Are you saying that these people were God inspired too?” It is often a difficult question to answer and one that has troubled me for many years. In my reply, I now replace the usual phrase with “It is the potential of God within everyone…”, which I am much more comfortable with.

I often wonder if President Putin, Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson or other currently controversial figures can claim to be “God inspired”? We must be careful here, since how much of these views are politically inspired by our personal prejudices? It may be that although these people do not fall within our political view of what is acceptable or not, or what we think God would approve of, how do we know? The opposite maybe be true.

Similar concerns were raised at our Quaker Meeting this week and it was, as usual, interesting to hear the views and thoughts of others. Is it right that we alone determine who is ‘God Inspired’ or not? For me, the answer was beautifully expressed by one of our members who gave a horticultural explanation. His explanation is that the goodness of God is within all of us from birth, as a tiny seed. As with all seeds, if it is watered, fed and nurtured, it will grow into a strong and healthy plant. If not, it will wither and die. During these unsettled times, the simple comparison of the goodness of God with the growth and nurture of a tiny seed has, for me, given an explanation that I can live with.

© Barrie Mahoney 2023

Join me on Facebook: @barrie.mahoney

To find out more about Barrie and his books, go to: