Seeking A Way To Hold It All

Rev. Nancy offered the following in the May 5 service. It continues to invite us into prayerful space.

Let us open a prayerful space, a reflective space, a space where we can be
truthful about how hard it is to live this faith of Unitarian Universalism, this faith
to which we are saying yes:

This faith that calls us to a way of being centered in love, working to create
justice, equity, generosity, and transformation in our relationships right here and
in our interconnectedness with all the world.

This engagement with the world doesn’t mean that we are all called to be
activists or community organizers, though surely some of us are called by this
faith to be just that …
yet all of us are called to be aware of and to respond, in one way or another, to
the troubles and the tragedies of people around us here and around the world.

The trauma that we have all experienced, as human beings in this country, over
the past at least 8 years makes it difficult for many of us to take in or respond to
the troubles and tragedies that are happening now.
On this day of saying yes, I want to ask us tenderly to hold a place here, within
this container we have created, for the horrors and hardness occurring now. A
broken-openhearted place where Love can be released.

In this space, let us hold Israel, Gaza, the Palestinians, the horrific attacks by
Hamas on Jewish Israelis on October 7, and the horrific attacks by the Israeli
government on Palestinian people, communities, homes, schools, hospitals, and
more in Gaza ever since.

In this space, let us hold the loss, the suffering, the centuries of trauma and years
of warfare in that region, and let us hold the impact of this war on people who
live here in the United States—Palestinians, Israelis, Muslims, Jews, and every single one of us who love family and friends who are directly connected to the losses and suffering overseas.

In this space, let us hold the university students staging protests and sit-in’s,
using language that speaks truth for some and that traumatizes others.
Let us hold the horror of those images of police in riot gear called in to disperse or arrest
them—and let us hold the police themselves.

In this space, let us acknowledge the polarization of people’s attachments to one
“side” or another, to certain words that must be spoken or must never be spoken,
and let us hold the equally deep conviction for some of us that this calls for
something more complex than an either/or choice.

Let us especially hold the pluralism of thoughts and feelings that are no doubt
present right here among us, and let us hold the piercing question of why, when devastating armed conflicts are wreaking havoc on lives all around the world; why do some get more
attention than others?

And now, let us hold our broken-open hearts, and from them let a prayer emerge,
in whatever language or method speaks to you … while I offer mine right here:

Spirit of Life and of Love, come to us and hold our overflowing minds and hearts
and our traumatized bodies and our beautiful searching struggling spirits. Bring
the grace of compassion and courage to us—and also to all who are in positions
of decision-making power. Shatter the mental shackles of war-mongering habits
and ideas, and let peace roll down like water to quench the thirst of all those who
are suffering, starving, struggling under the weight of fear and hopelessness.

Spirit that flows within us and among us and that connects us with all that is,
Spirit known by many names and beyond all naming, give peace a chance. Teach
us the peace that comes from a deeper understanding, bless us with the patience
to learn, to let go of what we have always assumed, to be disappointed, and to
remain at the table so that all may be fed and flourish.

Spirit of Life, come to us right here and show us how to live our faith fully and
out loud.

~Rev. Nancy Palmer Jones

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1 Response to Seeking A Way To Hold It All

  1. katrina P yurko says:

    Such profundity in both words and message usually skim over my head or drop to the floor after editing. But not this ! This message goes direct to a state of conscious acceptance of our current reality and our dire need to maintain an equilibrium. It begins with the the external, the global, our citizenship on a geopolitical platform and then, as we read on, our conscious state turns to how we can create equilibrium by “community prayer” by asking deep questions, by accepting shortcomings. Even in the event that the world fails us as citizens, we can find sustenance through community and spirituality. Rev Nancy ‘s prayer has forward motion that goes beyond the political agenda and serves to allow individuals the open pathway for self growth and nuturing our best selves amid chaos.

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