A Prayer for Our Journey Towards Peace
There's so much in my mind and my heart right now that it's hard for me to figure out exactly what to say.
I wish that I was a poet because then I could find the words that would release some of the sickness, fear, and sadness that are weighing down my spirit. If I were a poet, I could create a picture from words and syntax that would allow me to express what I’m feeling. But, as You know, I’m not a poet, so, I’m just going to say it plainly...
I'm mad. I'm scared. I'm overwhelmed. I feel like our world has so much hate in it, and even as I know in my soul that I should and that I will keep marching toward love and light, I want to tell You that this path is a really difficult one.
I talk with my colleagues and my congregants, and I know that each of us feels like we are living lives defined by the need to be watchful- always on guard and ready to protect ourselves and others. Even as each one of us continues to stand for and with those who fight injustice, we worry that we’ll buckle under the pressure.
As I write this prayer to You, I’m sitting in the lobby of my temple and looking through our huge windows. It is one of my favorite places to be because the beauty that exists in the world is a powerful thing to see. Today, as I watch the leaves shiver in the wind and the birds swoop from the trees, I can feel my heart grow a little lighter and my hopes a little stronger.
I want to assure You that I believe, deeply and profoundly, in the power that love can have in our lives and in our communities. I am inspired by the fact that I belong to a congregation and a movement that requires us to see Your reflection in every person that we meet. I am grounded by the teaching that while I am not required to fix our world completely, I am commanded to continue trying, to continue working, and to continue hoping. I am strengthened by the knowledge that there is a vast group of diverse and beautiful people in this world who are committed to fighting the power of hate.
God, I’m asking You to be with us as we stand together. Help us to reach out and take the hands of our neighbors. Help us to approach all people with open minds and hearts. Let us see that our work and our love make our world better and our lives brighter.
If I were a poet, I could say this more beautifully, but because I’m me, I’ll say it plainly:
God, I believe that You were with our ancestors as they experienced both trials and triumphs. Please be with us as we continue on this path towards Shalom (peace and wholeness). It’s a difficult journey, and we can use the help.