Like a soft sigh...

Brother Roger of the Taize Community once wrote: Prayer does not require superhuman efforts. Like a soft sigh, like a child's request, it keeps us alert. Has not God revealed to Christ's poor what the powerful of this world do not understand straightaway? This makes me think of Psalm 131:

O Lord, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks. I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me. But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother's breast; then my soul is quieted within me. O Israel, wait upon the Lord, from this time forth and forever more.

Yesterday our friends at Temple Anshe Amunim was violated when a swastika was etched into an outer wall. This is the second time such a desecration has occurred in six months. I give thanks to God for all the regional clergy and politicians who have names this vile act not merely vandalism, but a hate crime for that is what it is. We stand in prayerful and political solidarity with Anshe Amunim and its rabbi, Josh Breindel, as those on a quest for the light in the darkness. Their pain - and the ugliness of this hate crime - is a sober reminder of how truly hard it is to wait upon the Lord.

On the same day, I received from my dear friend, Peter, this link to another small sign of God's light amidst the darkness in the mission of Dawud Wharnsby. I am very interested in his mixture of poetry, music and peace-making as, indeed, it parallels the passion of my heart. (Please take some time to go deeper @ www.wharnsby.com/)

And tomorrow our children arrive and begin the Christmas festivities with us. It is snowing right now and the sun is out. Soon it will be dark again - and the waiting will be harder. And yet within the waiting and darkness, there is light: there are souls committed to compassion, there are friends making music, there are lovers clinging closely and families feastings and even strangers being embraced. The old master, Walter Brueggemann, put it like this in one of his collected prayers:

The threats do not wane,
The dangers are not imagined,
the power to undo is on the loose...
And yet in the midst, you speak your word. It is your word that cuts the threat,
that siphons off the danger,

that tames the powers.

You speak and all is made new.
You speak your true self abiding faithfulness,
of durable presence,
of long-standing reliability.
You give yourself in the utterance of "fear not,"
and we do not fear.
We do not fear, because you are with us,
with us - and so safe,
with us - and so free,
with us - and so joyous.

We diminish our lives in our feeble anxiety...
and you veto our anxiety;
We cheapen our neighbor with our frantic greed...
and you nullify our greed with your satiation;
We pollute our world in our lust for safety...
and you detoxify our mess.

Now come here - and in Kosovo,
here and in Littleton, here and in East Lake,
here and in Louisville,
here... and there... and there... and there.
Override the fickleness of it all,
and give us faith commensurate with your true, abiding self.
Amen.





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