There is a terrifying passage in ‘I and Thou’ by the Jewish mystic Martin Buber in which God says ‘I have sunk my hearing in the deafness of mortals’. If this should be even partly true what a tremendous responsibility it places upon us to listen, to listen to each other with our whole attention, with our hearts, but what a difficult thing to do. ~ Elizabeth Bassett in “Beyond the Blue Mountains: Wisdom and Compassion on Living and Dying” (p. 93)
Without forgiveness there can be no future for a relationship between individuals or within and between nations… Resentment and anger are bad for your blood pressure and digestion… My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The news recently has been a cataloged of ever greater misery, tragedy, horror, and violence depicting the broken relationships between groups and nations. Hurt breeds resentment and violence arising from a sense of frustrated helplessness. This makes the truth of the essential need to truly listen to each other haunting. Challenge and inspire me. I can only hope to do this through the grace and power of the Holy Spirit to enable me to fulfill, however falteringly, the command of the risen Christ, “Follow me!”
LET GOD…be Parent…speak…liberate me from my prisons…direct my path…infuse me with grace and love.
How do we reconcile God’s grace and love with our world where at least 80 are dead in Nice (pron. Neece), France as a result of a rampage driver, weaponry, and a hate-filled heart? Who did this? Why? What matter does it make? Hate and violence and death… Death and violence and hate…
- The killings between black and white, police and citizens in the U.S.A. and in Kenya;
- Bombings and murder of Christians and other minority faiths in Iraq;
- The seizing of Christian villages by Kurds;
- The bombings and warfare in South Sudan;
- The territorial advancement by China onto militarized coral reefs and artificial islands in the South China Sea as platforms for their nuclear arms;
- Over a thousand people have ‘disappeared’ without trace and 40,000 have been arrested and tortured in the last 3 years in Egypt according to Amnesty International;
- Hunger and lack of food in Venezuela that is being tackled by the army because it is so pervasive.
Lord, help us to persevere in the face of so many discouragements to do whatever little bit of good we can wherever we are. Together these small acts form channels for your love and grace to be freed to transform our brokenness and overwhelm evil. Lord hear us and bless us.
With a new government and a second female Prime Minister installed in the UK, we pray for the challenges to be faced together, from people of very differing viewpoints and convictions, so that the good of the country – as well as bridge-building to repair shaken if not broken relationships with other groups and countries – can be undertaken in honesty and integrity.
We pray that all those, everywhere, may listen to each other before leaping into superficial response and action. Our heavy use of social media often makes this a default position rather than pausing, reflecting, and even daring to take time to pray… We continue to pray for the often bitter and divisive presidential electoral campaign in the U.S.A. So often at times like this we seem to revert to appealing to the lowest common denominator instead of offering a vision of the best… Forgive us when we get seduced by the attractiveness of power – thinking it glamorous rather than often seedy and corrupting.
Remind us, O God:
Good is stronger than evil; love is stronger than hate; light is stronger than darkness; life is stronger than death. Victory is ours, through him who loves us…Child of God, known by name, and whose very hairs are numbered. Praise and adore God and thank him for ever and ever. ~ Archbishop Desmond Tutu in “An African Prayer Book”
LET ME…be son or daughter…listen…walk out of my prisons through opened doors…follow your guidance…open up my being to your grace and love…Study and imitate…the perfect sonship of Jesus the Christ…the universal brother…or all other sons and daughters.