Many wander, searching for a place to belong, without words to express their need or their fear. Let us be prepared to welcome them – remembering that we, too, joined this circle by taking the hand that reached for us.
each day in this season I am aware of the comfort and peace surrounding me and my loved ones. More acutely aware of this comfort as I watch, in horror, at the war unfolding before us. When there are no words, I give thanks for prayers offered by others, such as this prayer by Steven Charleston—-
Let my heart be a shield, Spirit of Mercy, that with every breath I take, I am praying for this madness of a war to be ended. Let your justice prevail, but first let the power of your love be released on the thousands who need your help. The mothers and children, the elders, the fragile ones and the fearless ones: open the doors of your grace wide to receive them, Spirit. Give wisdom and integrity to those who lead in us in every land. Let each of us do our part in this sad and longing hour, that future generations see how love is never absent, even in the deepest conflict. Do not let sacrifice go unnoticed or valor ever be forgotten. Let my heart be a shield, let it cover the ones in danger, let it protect the innocent. Do not let my words be in vain, Great Spirit, but quickly gather your people, gather them in your strong arms. Bishop Steven Charleston
“I have been thinking about the different ways in which we experience being alone. The pandemic has shown us how we are each a separate reality within ourselves, separated by six feet at all times, even from those we would wish to greet with an embrace. It has forced many of us into isolation: that same state used as a punishment in prisons and a means of grace in monasteries. Some of us are alone and lonely while others are alone and at peace. Perhaps for the first time we are discovering what community really means.
If you are experiencing the separateness with difficulty, I pray the Spirit may open a door for you. If you are content on your mountaintop, I pray the Spirit to help you find what you are seeking. However you are faring in the empty spaces between us, may you find a welcoming community (here), whether by chance or by choice.”