The world is filled with countless good, loving, caring, and compassionate people. Yet today, many of these wonderful people face reprehensible and unjust suffering at the hands of their fellow human brothers and sisters. For black lives in America, the suffering has gone on far too long, in countless and immeasurable ways. Ways in which I cannot even comprehend as a person who has benefited from the fairness of my skin complexion and that of my recent ancestors. Though I can never know or be certain of what the suffering of black lives is like, I am certain that black lives need our love, prayers, and support today in the journey for positive change. I am certain that hope is present and peace is achievable by walking together as children of God.
In reflecting on all that is happening today, I have written and pondered many thoughts. In The Book of Joy by Douglas Abrams, Nobel Peace Prize Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu talk about forgiveness as a means toward progress in the midst of suffering. A first hand witness of apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu states “’Forgiveness . . . is the only way to heal ourselves and to be free from the past . . . Without forgiveness we remain tethered to the person who harmed us. We are bound to the chains of bitterness, tied together, trapped’” (The Book of Joy, pg.234). The Dalai Lama, who has survived more than fifty years of exile in India due to violence and oppression from the Chinese government, says that forgiveness does not mean we forget or cease to counteract the wrongdoing of another (The Book of Joy, pg.233-234). The Dalai Lama does say that forgiveness is necessary, however, to prevent ourselves from developing hatred of another (The Book of Joy, pg.233-234).
So with this blog post I offer up a prayer in hopes God will work through the limbs and hearts of his children to bring about positive and God approved change.
Lord, I pray:
Let us not stand in fear and thus crumble and die, but let us walk together in hope and peace and thus live. Create within us new life and hope even amidst our sufferings and the unjust sufferings of our beloved Black brothers and sisters. Clean our hearts of any worries, anxieties, hatefulness, racism or any ism, and help us to find overpowering strength, joy, and wellbeing in love and compassion for all you have created. Lord, help us to gain wisdom and understanding of truth and of your all-knowing and ever-present state of being. As in Psalm 139: 13-16, help us to remember the careful, unique, and good design in which you created each and every one of us, and how you knit us together in our mother’s womb. Remind us of how wonderful your works truly are and how you look upon humanity with gentle, patient, and infinite love for each individual. Keep our hearts centered on appreciation for your continuing love and care. Lord, as you proclaim in Isaiah 49:15-16, even should our tender-loving mother ever forget us, you will never forget us and have written our names upon your palm. As we strive to create positive change together in our communities and society, Lord, give us a renewed desire and energy to serve all those whom God loves. Amen.