Love is not built on the sands of emotion. It is not spoken in exclamations, no matter what the Romantics said. True love is the bedrock of our humanity, both the core of who we are as human beings and the substance of our connections. It is unconditional and unwavering, solid and stoic.
Love requires serious soul-work: witnessing the divine spark within others, noticing the beauty and the pain stitched through ordinary life, carrying one another when we are tired, acting generously and mercifully, even when (especially when) it is most difficult to see clearly, when every inch of the sky is shrouded in dark clouds. We love our way through life.
In the midst of violence, fear, and uncertainty, from the middle of anger, sadness, and overwhelm, I offer you, and God, this prayer.
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We see so much despair in the world. The rising tides of ignorance, of bigotry, of injustice, of violence stand before us. The ocean literally rising with new force is arresting… each natural disaster fiercer than the last. There are days, when we are left with only heartbreak, that the world seems broken beyond repair.
By faith, we know that you are still speaking in the midst of this. We turn our hearts and minds to you. In the face of devastation, help us see the beauty that remains and retain hope for new life.
Dear God, help us to be intimate with the life in front of us. We know that people— no matter how different they may seem from us— are all lovable when witnessed up close. Help us invite strangers, our neighbors, into our lives, into our human warmth, and welcome them with the love you intend for all.
We know that true courage is the union of clarity and compassion. Help us walk bravely and with integrity. Help us see clearly your children who are suffering at the hands of injustice, who feel lonely, who are in need of care, and respond with deep generosity of spirit.
We pray for the hungry, the homeless, the marginalized, and the sick. We pray for our families and loved ones near and far, and those we have yet to welcome in. We pray for a better world, one that respects the dignity of every human being, where people seek the highest good, defend those in need, and embody righteous love.
And finally, we pray for our community. In the midst of rising tides, make us vessels for your light, so that we may work to build a more equal, more compassionate world for all people.