Beloved, UCM members and friends,
With any major transition, such as the dawning of a new year, we hope for good things to emerge, for joy and light and love to dominate our days. The dawning of this new year, however, has brought the shadows of death, destruction, and war and the immanence and inferno of the climate crisis. I find myself vacillating between denial, rage, and fear.
What keeps me going is noticing the good that others are doing and making a commitment to do whatever I can, however small the action, to connect with Life and with Love. I sign petitions. I write to my legislators. I show up with others to speak out and speak up. I cut back on how frequently I drive my car. I try to keep my consumption of goods limited and local. None of these things alone will transform the whole world. But, these actions remind me that I still have agency even when the weight of the suffering of the world bears down mightily.
I also pray. I submit myself to that murky place of keeping silence and opening my heart to the Great Unknown. What or who is receiving my prayers? Will they ever be answered? To me, the answers to those questions don’t matter all that much. What matters is that I allow myself to be present to the sorrow, the anger, and the deep yearning for something better for all of us.
Keep on breathing. Keep on doing what you can when you can. Keep on holding on to Life and Love and to one another.
Here is the prayer that I shared in worship this past Sunday.
In these times in which the ground feels shaky
And our hands and feet unsteady
We turn to you
Oh, Source of Strength,
Spirit of Compassion
For we do not know what the future holds
Truly, we can never know
And we need strength in these times of uncertainty
We need the strength and the fortitude to hold on,
to see clearly,
to reach out in love.
May we find guidance within ourselves and beyond ourselves
May we be restless for truth when truth is cast aside,
May we be seekers of peace as the drumbeats of war grow louder around us,
May we hear and sound the alarm for our planet as fires rage and ravage,
And, in all this, may Love rule our hearts.
May we know the Source of Love within us and stay grounded in that source
As we grieve,
as we grapple with the unknown,
as we work towards creating a more just, peaceful, and sustainable present and future together.