Under every floor is soil, within all soil are roots—taking in nourishment in the unseen dark. Frozen though it may be, each seed holds possibility of transformation.
God of transformation, we cry with the Psalmist “how long” when we look upon the suffering of your beloved people and the ways we pit ourselves against one another:
The devastating mix of war, poverty and winter in Ukraine and Russia, Israel and Gaza, Palestine.
Heavy fighting in Somalia after an al-Shabab attack.
Deadly ethnic and religious clashes in Nigeria.
Cartel battles in southern Mexico, between two rival cartels displacing entire communities as they flee for safety.
In the United States, walls of division grow as the election season intensifies.
We grieve senseless loss of life as we read headlines of calamity after calamity:
Children dying of starvation due to famine in Ethiopia, that is downplayed by the government.
The fatal basement fire in a shop in Xinya, China.
The detainment and vandalization of party offices of opposition activists in Venezuela.
We walk the winter woods of our lives among the bones of the tree branches. Hard ground with no give, can feel like stark death and abandonment.
And we know that under every cement floor and frozen ground there is earth below and life within.
Give us courage as we seek to be people of transformation.
Transformative courage like the six Hand in Hand* integrated school and community programs located in Gesher al HaWadi, Galilee, Jaffa, Haifa, Kfar Saba, and Jerusalem, Israel. The bilingual Hebrew and Arabic schools bring together Arab and Jewish children.
Creative courage like Mennonite protesters who gathered in the United States Capitol Rotunda to sing hymns calling for peace and ceasefire.
May all people on earth feel the warmth of your Presence like the gentle sun that thaws, that invites the seed to open.
We praise, you give you thanks, we lean our weary souls into your love.