If you are one of tens of thousands of people who can’t stand to hear another story about another black man being shot by another policeman, you may want to go to Ferguson, Missouri this October 10-13. Your showing up may not stop the shooting(s), but at least it will let people know that you see. You hear. You notice.
At the climate march we multifaith types joined the rest of the people who love the earth enough to march and create a ritual. When a ritual works, people feel something. They are changed. They come in the door one person and go out another.
Many progressive clergy have recently spent our entire discretionary accounts on travel to our state capitals. An experiment is occurring in North Carolina to reunite our spiritual souls with our political bodies. Instead of episodic lobbying, on Moral Mondays, clergy visit with their representatives as chaplains. They change the language from the pragmatics of the political to the hope of our God.
O God, remind us that we are part of a whole, part of the land or our ancestry and your future, that we are both bordered people and unbordered, national and trans-national, wound and unwound people. Let us be citizens of a globe, where love and respect have just borders. Amen.
Marriage equality is an emerging story useful to both same sex and the “one man/one woman” kind of marriage. It is even helpful to families who are single parented. By story I mean the tale we tell ourselves about ourselves. The big word for it is narrative – and what the nation is missing right now is a narrator in chief about gender. Without a commanding narrative about what it means to have a gender, we are each and all lost in the woods of personal confusion, which results in national confusion, which results in many long dark nights of the soul, for those with any kind of sexual equipment. Marriage equality is helping, not hurting, this gender confusion.
At tables, during holy days, occupy our hearts with something new:
Let us risk a conversation in which debt is not considered shameful.
Grant us mutual release of any embarrassment that we aren’t rich yet.
Release us from the nasty shame that says debt is our fault.
Remind us to keep our resumes at home.
We are almost always counting, Precious Lord. Teach us soon to count our blessings. We are in a terrible hurry. Put something in the way of our rushing about and let us trip over it, finding a new appreciation for interruptions. Amen
We pray, O God, for that thing called integrity, that exciting marriage between our inner and outer lives. Help us to pay attention to our own nourishment and what we put into our bodies, our arms and our hearts. Help us find energy, to know that health is not so much the absence or disease as the presence or vitality. Make us into inner-actives; people who move with grace from the inside out and the outside back again. Help us to be both morally nimble and morally solid. Let us not be afraid of our confusion but rather embrace it with the power of wisdom in you. Amen
The dead help us get clear, clear enough to live beyond the sting. While haunting us, they also fertilize us to unsentimental appreciation for life and breath. We get unstung and we almost never know how. We know the process of release from pain and marvel at why it took so much death to get changes in gun laws or a tad of release from racism. We muse on what a useful death can be in a world of such extensive uselessness.
As women gain power, politically and economically, our cultural power will become ever more interesting. The good news is that we have so much more control over our cultural power than we ever will have over the political or economic. We are the ones in charge of our hearts, which is the home of culture and likewise the site of joy, that mystery that has gone missing under centuries of inequality.