God, full of mercy, Who dwells above, give rest on the wings of the Divine Presence, amongst the holy, pure and glorious who shine like the sky, to the soul of Ruth Bader Ginsburg…for whom prayer was offered in the memory of her soul. Therefore, the Merciful One will protect her soul forever, and will merge her soul with eternal life. The Everlasting is her heritage, and she shall rest peacefully at her lying place, and let us say: Amen.
In Memoriam RBG
We fold our splintered spirits Into the waiting arms Of the Crescent goddess And hang on to the last vestiges Of hope smoldering in the ashes Of our rancorous discontent.
May our god full of compassion Grant compassion to Your abandoned ones Bereft and beset with despair. Unleash her holy audacity In an outpouring of strength That will pry us from the comfort Of our grief.
May we rest in peace with her- Not a “piecemeal peace,” But a peace That “comes with work to do… Comes to sit and brood.”*
My pastor, Megan Ramer (seattlemennonite.org) offered this prayer yesterday, and in turn I offer it to you on this day dominated by horrific memories of the 9/11 attack on the United States. Pictures of powerful wildfires and suffocating lowland smoke are a constant reminder of the violent unrest sweeping through many cities; violence fueled by the hot wind of divisive rhetoric spewing from the mouths of those entrusted with the mandate to protect and care for their citizens.
Still. And yet. The image of this lilly, exquisite in it’s vulnerability and exposed to the sun and elements, calls me to remain open to hope. Vulner-able. Accepting the wound and exposing ourselves to the possibility of healing. May the healing you long for be yours today.
Sharing a prayer by Anna McKenzie, from Good Friday People by Sheila Cassidy, Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 1991
And so we must begin to live again, We of the damaged bodies And assaulted minds. Starting from scratch with the rubble of our lives And picking up the dust Of dreams once dreamt. And we stand there, naked in our vulnerability, Proud of starting over, fighting back But full of humility At the awareness of the task. We, without a future, Safe, defined, delivered Now salute you God. Knowing that nothing is safe, Secure, inviolable here. Except you. And even that eludes our minds at times. And we hate you As we love you, And our anger is as strong as our pain. Our grief is deep as oceans, And our need as great as mountains. So, as we take our first few steps forward Into the abyss of the future, We would pray for Courage to become what we have Not been before And accept it, And bravery to look deep Within our souls to find New ways. We did not want it easy God, But we did not contemplate That it would be quite this hard, This long, this lonely. So, if we are to be turned inside out, And upside down, With even our pockets shaken, Just to check what’s rattling And left behind, We pray that you will keep faith with us, And we with you. Hold our hands as we weep, Giving us strength to continue, And showing us beacons Along the way to becoming new. We are not fighting you God, Even if it feels like it, But we need your help and company, As we struggle on. Fighting back And starting over.
We try so hard, don’t we? When spiritual development becomes a passion we sometimes work at it to the point of exhaustion, excluding all spontaneity of spirit. That’s why I’m letting myself off the hook today, and invite you to join me if so moved.
In her book, In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Prayer and Reflection, Jan Richardson suggests with Thomas Moore that we let ourselves “get sleepy” once in a while, because it is in the latent spaces in-between when we let go, that spirit can then plant seeds that can germinate. Moore suggests that “…awareness, wisdom, and soulfulness do not arrive solely through perpetually vigilant consciousness.”
So today, let yourself off the hook and let spirit do her work.
May you grow sleepy enough to find the gap where God lives. May your soul find its waking there.
Jan Richardson In the Sanctuary of Women: A Companion for Prayer and Reflection
I am howling today. It’s a cathartic spiritual practice I sometimes engage in because it gets me deep inside an experience. Often it is the only way to break through to hope…if I’m brave enough to let spirit take me there.
A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall Song by Bob Dylan
….I saw ten thousand talkers whose tongues were all broken I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children And it’s a hard, and it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard And it’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall….
Oh, what’ll you do now, my blue-eyed son? Oh, what’ll you do now, my darling young one? I’m a-goin’ back out ‘fore the rain starts a-fallin’ I’ll walk to the depths of the deepest black forest….
And I’ll tell it and think it and speak it and breathe it And reflect it from the mountain so all souls can see it Then I’ll stand on the ocean until I start sinkin’ But I’ll know my song well before I start singin’ And it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard It’s a hard rain’s a-gonna fall
“SoulCards” by Deborah Koff-Chapin. The technique Deborah has created is called “touch drawing.” The cards come in two decks of 60 images and can be used alone or with others as reflection tools. They have enriched my meditation for years and have helped those I companion with. http://www.soulcards.com
“In navigating the changes, in wrestling with boredom, in confronting our restlessness, in learning to pay attention to what is before us rather than forever moving on to something or someplace that looks more appealing, we come to know regions of our souls that we could never enter otherwise.
Where do you find sources of stability?
What do you learn in committing to something—a place, a person, a way of life—over the long haul?”
Heat and covid stalk us down the steamy alleys of August like bloodhounds on the prowl. Their incessant baying and trail of spewing spittle threaten to relieve us of our senses. We long to just flop down in the shade with these bloodhounds and flick at flies.
If only we could stop running long enough we might catch up to our senses and it wouldn’t be so hot. It wouldn’t be so dangerous.
Shall we celebrate the exquisite wonder that we are alive today? We still can discover the yet uncharted territory of our being, even while we struggle for meaning in this new external landscape. It is indeed a wonder that we are here, and that we are managing as creatively as we are.
We are a wonder. Let’s celebrate. It will sustain us in those other moments.
Let us today reach out with our finger and plug the dyke, lest a rush of this pandemic flood of angst overtake us.
We are such funny people, aren’t we? One little speck of energy these days lies latent under 50 mattresses, and our busy minds worry it into a hotbed of troubles.
Yes, sir, then we’ve got troubles. Yes, ma’am, then we’ve got troubles, right here in River City, with a capital T and that rhymes with E and that stands for Egoooo!
Leftside, rightside, backside, frontside, over and around we turn, mattresses complaining, minds exclaiming. Just like the Music Man (1962 film) who cons a culture-deprived community, this little speck of energy, whatever it is, can con us into believing that it IS the universe instead of one PART of the universe.
STOP TOSSING AND TURNING! Throw a protective blanket of divine energy over and around this speck, and move on.