For reasons I do not understand, you were re-sent a blog post I wrote nearly a year ago. Travel to Canada is not something we have been doing lately. I apologize for the mailbox clutter.

However, since I have your attention–I want to share passages from two of this morning’s readings in Morning Prayer. This has been a tragic week. We marked over 100,000 Americans who have died of Covid-19. The black community has disproportionally borne the losses. Personally, I know three beautiful souls who have died and my heart breaks for their families. You have suffered losses as well-my heart breaks for you too.

Yes, this has been a tragic week. “I can’t breathe!” George Floyd and an entire oppressed community cries out. We are repulsed and angry and discouraged that yet again we witness the disregard for the sanctity of a black body. Will it ever end? If that were my son, brother, husband…

And now violence did as violence does–it begot more violence. As the rage becomes uncomfortable for many of us, we turn away from the righteous anger of years of substandard schools and health care and employment opportunities and physical torture of black bodies, and we focus on the destruction of the few. I pray we have the courage to be with the righteous anger and trust it is a way for God to speak to us the uncomfortable words we need to hear. The only way to the other side of grief is through it. We have unsuccessfully tried to sweep this anger and pain and loss under the rug of acceptable behavior for so long it has boiled to a point that is incredibly uncomfortable to witness.

In John 14 Jesus says he has prepared a way for us. He has gone ahead of us–can we who claim to be Christians focus our eyes there, on him? What does Jesus know about righteous anger and persecution? What way has he prepared for us?

I pray for peace in our country. Not the peace that is only for the few, but the peace which comes from safety and abundant life for all people. I pray for a new heart and a new spirit–within me and our nation. Words are not enough–we need a conversion–something old has to die to make way for the new. It starts with me–to repent my complicity and listen for a humble way forward to be a part of the restoration that the people of Israel, and so many of our people today, desire. I pray we can ALL inhale and exhale the sacred breath God breathes into each of us.

For what do you pray?

Psalm 107:41-43

He lifted up the poor out of misery *
and multiplied their families like flocks of sheep.

The upright will see this and rejoice, *
but all wickedness will shut its mouth.

Whoever is wise will ponder these things, *
and consider well the mercies of the Lord.

Ezekiel 36: 24-27

I will take you from the nations, and gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances.