Do the Work at Hand

The bloggosphere is electric with reactions to the Trayvon Martin case.  I will keep this brief.  If you are in the clergy, bring your people together and comfort them, regardless of their race.  If you are preaching tomorrow, preach the sermon you intended, do not change your subject, rather offer a prayer for those who have come to this bizarre decision and a prayer for real change and real solutions to our colonial sickness.  If you are the member of a church come together with your youth and explain to them that they are safe; particularly if they are black and particularly if they are male.  Do not look for a reason to cause more harm here.  If you are not religious or part of a religious community, talk to your friends, your brothers and sisters, your family, and keep on talking.  We are stronger than this.

Tomorrow I will preach a sermon on Islam to a mostly white congregation.  I will preach about how I am as flawed as any racist or bigot and that in order to be the person of faith that I wish to be, I must acknowledge my failings and face them.  I ask you all as I will ask that congregation, before you react to today’s news, before you tell yourself that you are a good liberal; before you assume that you are immune to bias, look at yourself, ask yourself in your heart where you are broken and where you are flawed and dive deep into working with it to fix it in your heart.  This will allow you to see in the broken hearts of those who have just placed a young person’s life on a lower rung than that of a scared vigilante.

No injustice was ever solved by created greater injustices.  We can take back this country and our dignity and our future if we first learn how to truly love ourselves and one another.

A prayer to us all.

A Prayer…

Yesterday I had a wonderful dinner with good friends who share in a community of love and modest prosperity.  Just prior to that, I stopped in Starbucks, another privilege of wealth and stability, and there I encountered a man who one might just dismiss as a ‘crazy homeless guy.’  He was wandering around the shop picking up bits of paper from the floor and moving too quickly for the number of people in the space, he had dirty clothes on and hadn’t bathed.  His eyes didn’t meet any focused point and he muttered to himself.  He then went over to the ‘fixins’ stand and proceeded to drink the half and half out of the dispenser.  I was on my way out and went by him and as he was standing in my way said “excuse me”, which I think were the only words anyone said to him the whole time he was in there.  He then went off, still fairly under his breath, cussing me out for “excusing” him, but was still deeply engaged in making a meal out of sugar packets and milk.  It was jarring to some extent and came back to me this morning.  Having experienced dementia in my family, it was a reminder to me that even at the most “sane” of times, we don’t know each other’s journeys.  We aren’t in each other’s heads; all we know is what we present to each other and how we perceive that experience all depends on how we experience our reality…and that is entirely up to our personal view point.  Some may call it God…others may call it life.  We can’t judge…we must find ways to accept it and move forward as one.

Spirit of life, God, Goddess, Power that is…

Some of us experience this life as a community

With goals and obligations related to one another,

But what of those who when most of us see a bird,

They see a cat;

When most of us hear music,

They hear a drill…

We pray that just as you walk with us into our churches,

Synagogues, Mosques and Temples,

Just as you comfort those of us who look for individual personal peace,

And just as you are the immediate experience of life that for some only exists in the now,

All of us who “know,”

Protect and walk with those who have no words

Or have no connection

And don’t know that they are in a struggle with our limited reality;

(or is it us struggling with their unburdened freedom?)

Love them just the same.

In your many names, Amen.