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To complete (for now) the look at "answering that of God in every one" (1 2), I'd like to mention that Ithaca Monthy Meeting's February newsletter included a quote from a local Friend that offers some additional richness to 'answer' as well:

George Fox wrote, “Walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in every one.” Part of beginning to recognize that of God in others may be the word “answering”. The 17th century meaning of answering is quite different from our modern understanding of the word. Some of the meanings include: to be responsible for, to fulfill the expectations of, to echo, to correspond or give back in kind. (I’m indebted to Paul Buckley, Earlham School of Religion adjunct faculty member, for introducing me to this idea.) I love the idea that George Fox was calling us to echo that of God in others. If God whispered us into being, then to echo back to another the image of God that they were created in, is to let that whisper grow louder, carry farther, and sing out longer. When I truly learn to answer that of God in every one, I will begin to help the song of God carry throughout the world. - Priscilla Berggren-Thomas, Friends Journal 7/03

Most of the focus in discussing this seem to fall on "that of God in every one", but the choice of verb - "answering" - is also worth consideration. There are so many different levels of answering even before we get into possible 17th century meanings.

How do they fit together?


If 'answering' is seen as 'responding to', I say that 'respect' is the best response! So for me to 'answer to that of God in everyone' I guess I better respect everyone (even if they don't repect me). I better listen deeply even (especially) when we seem to disagree!