Grace and peace to you. If you are finding yourself overwhelmed by the world around us, you are not alone. The events that have transpired over the past few days and weeks fill us with questions, fear, awe of the earth’s power, and grief for our fellow humans who have lost loved ones, homes and whole cities. The shooting in our district (New Hanover) high school on Monday brings close the reality of guns, school safety, and the ways we as humans are in relationship (or lack of real relationship) with one another.
In the words of Proverbs 1:20-33, Wisdom is trying to get our attention. She cries out at the busiest corner, where the noise is loud and everyone is traveling in different directions. The words are unexpectedly harsh ones, words we want to skim over quickly rather than consider. We don’t expect those harsh words to apply to us.
And yet, it occurs to me that perhaps the world is calling out for attention, for someone to listen, for meaningful, deep relationships. What will get our attention? What does it take for us to listen, to seek God’s wisdom? When we aren’t listening to God, to whom or to what are we listening? What will inspire a relationship with our neighbor? Could we care for one another before the disaster, establishing relationship as groundwork, foundation? Relationships call us to respect one another, care for one another and to listen intently to one another so that we may help one another and live peaceably together.
My prayer for today is for us to seek Wisdom and receive this help from God. My hope is to put ourselves lower and lift God higher. This Native American prayer offers me hope:
We pray that someday an arrow will be broken,
not in something or someone, but by each of humankind,
to indicate peace, not violence.
Someday, oneness with creation,
rather than domination over creation,
will be the goal to be respected.
Someday fearlessness to love and make a difference
will be experienced by all people.
Then the eagle will carry our prayer for peace and love,
and the people of the red, white, yellow, brown, and black communities
can sit in the same circle together to communicate in love
and experience the presence of the Great Mystery in their midst.
Someday can be today for you and me. Amen.
(Wanda Lawrence, Chippewa)
Join me in lifting a prayer for the people of Haiti seeking a new home; for the people of Afghanistan longing for peace and security; for the people affected by Ida who have basic needs of food and shelter; for the high school students processing the harsh sound of gunfire between the changing of classes. May God’s word and wisdom find us, move us to action, and empower us to gather and guide others.
Bless you, pastors and laity, as you listen for God’s call on your life and in your community.
Thank you, thank you for your continued willingness and daily decision to serve, to make disciples, to engage in God’s work of transformation.
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