Right now is a time of great strain and discord, with rising hate groups we see expressing their loathing for people of color and minorities in events like Charlottesville. Our leaders have mixed responses to this as a country; and sadly I find alot of mixed responses in the church.
Often it is easy to respond with political statements, pronouncements, and actions that deepen our alienation. In this moment I feel called to deeper prayer and openness to other’s story, knowing there are others words more pressing and important to be heard than my own.
I wanted to share the prayer I am engaged in to help me find this attitude, inviting each of you who, like me, are often in the place of privilege where your voice is asked for, to focus on either this prayer or some other practice calling you to quiet your voice, listen to your heart, and listen to the voice of others.
It is in choosing to be open to the other, to listen to their need, particularly when they are not people of privilege but marginalized, that the path to peace with justice will come.
Here is the prayer I am engaged in, focusing on one line, one word at a time, every day as I pray through it each morning in my time of prayer:
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life
What practices are helping you find your center and remain open? I would love to hear your story too.
Your progressive redneck preacher,