When the sun rises, those who did not fear the night will be seen, still standing.
Quote and image taken from Steven Charleston
I wake this morning with few words and an aching heart.
I share this image as an icon of comfort and compassion – a human response at any age.
I share this prayer as a way to express the thoughts I carry deep within.
For Nice, France
“God have mercy on all those who have lost their lives without reason. Lift them up in your strong arms and hold them close. Receive them into a place where there is no more terror or sorrow. Help the injured to recover. Guard them from further pain. Comfort the families with deep compassion. Give them a sense of your presence as they search for a way to bear their grief. And pour your Spirit into this broken world. Let your love run like waters of life into every mind and heart. Show us how to confront what we cannot comprehend and stop the sacrifice of so many innocent lives.”
I have seen the Spirit moving behind the gathering clouds, with wings the color of rainbows. I have watched the light of creation split the sky, as angels pound the drums of heaven. What is holy is not what is tame, what is divine is as wild as a desert rain. Love is not a timid breeze, but a storm of change, sweeping the comfortable before it like leaves, blowing the dust off our ordered lives, challenging us to dare the elements of our own vision. What is holy is not what is tame, so when you stand to pray, stand facing the wind.
The final word to our lives will not be terror or hate. Even if they seem overwhelming now, they will not define us or control us. Other forces are at work, deep forces that move silently among us, drawing us closer against the storm. Whenever human beings face disaster together, whatever that peril may be, our ancient instinct for compassion rises up to unite us in common cause. We do not shatter beneath the blows. We only grow stronger. No, fear and hate will never have the last word. Love will. The love every faithful soul feels when it sees a life in danger.
Bishop Steven Charleston
with thoughts and prayers for the people of Brussels, Ivory Coast and all places affected by violence and danger
Something wonderful is coming this way. Each year at this time, when the ancient calendar turns, and the crisp wind blows, I feel the satin-winged angels flying through the star sprinkled night, to herald the advent of a new beginning. That is what I claim for our lives: that new beginning, that sacred start to a life renewed. Something wonderful is coming to you, to me, to all the world. No hurt or harm can hold back the healing: they must give way, yield to the power of mercy, and let the angelic chorus fill the sky with songs of hope, singing for you, singing for me, singing for the sheer joy of singing. Something wonderful is coming this way. (Bishop Steven Charleston – 2014)
Each Saturday morning, Bishop Steven Charleston uses Facebook to faithfully invite a sharing of prayers. These prayers are offered for ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors and beyond. I look forward to this time each week. There are hundreds of requests – many just one or two lines. As I share my prayer I also take time to read the intercessions and celebrations offered by others. When reading these prayers each person knows you have heard their prayer when you ‘like’ the prayer. As the day moves forward these ‘likes’ collect as support and care.
This is a holy gathering – one that needs no walls. Used through social media it reaches beyond one’s comprehension. There are people who offer prayers each week and others who may only visit once. Hundreds of people give thanks for Bishop Charleston and this gathering of people who travel together on this sacred journey.
Today is Saturday. While preparing to share my prayers for healing and celebrations, I am overwhelmed with my feelings about the fragile nature of our world at this moment. I’ve never known such anger. I cannot comprehend the violence and loss of life. I long for an avenue, a turning place, where all could find their way and know peace deep within.
Having done it for years I know how to pray for peace. This Saturday morning that prayer is offered but it feels small as it faces the massive turmoil and violence spreading throughout our world.
For this I have few words of prayer only tears of sadness and longing for an end to this violence. ‘Lord have mercy…’ will work for now. A mantra that includes my plea for healing and peace.