There are fires in California. People in Puerto Rico and so many other places are working on recovering from hurricanes. People are killed and friends die.
I wrote a note to my daughter-in-law who lives in Napa. She responded, “It is horrific for so many here. Many of our friends have lost everything. Prayers are what everyone needs the most.” In the midst of the destruction around us, of our environment, of our civility, I sometimes wonder about prayer. Prayer is not enough in the face of devastation. We also must act to address and fix problems. But prayer is important.
I sit in the morning in the quiet. I light a candle. I breathe in peace and love for myself. I send out peace and love into the world. I believe that it makes a difference. I believe that God is in the peace and love. I believe that God is the peace and love.
So, I sit in the morning as I start my day, holding all of the devastation and destruction, all of the pain and sorrow, and I send out prayers. Then I get up and get to work.
“There are not enough candles,” a colleague wrote. There are not enough candles for all of the people who have died from gun violence, from floods and hurricanes, from street violence and domestic violence. There are not enough candles to calm our hearts and minds in these turbulent times.
So, what do we do? We gather together. We gather to remind ourselves of those who have been lost. We gather to remind ourselves that there is good in the world. We gather to hold each other up and to find new ways to act. We gather in the gift of God’s presence.
Together we find peace and courage. Together we find hope and purpose. Together we find grace.
September 20, 2017
I sit on the screen porch listening to the rain and the wind and the traffic. I watch the branches buffeted by the storm and I think about Puerto Rico and all of the other places battered by hurricanes, affected by fires and earthquakes. I hold them in prayer.
I sit on my screen porch looking at the church building and I think about the people whose lives are buffeted and battered by life, those I know and those I don’t. I hold them in prayer.
For these moments, I feel connected to everyone, I feel a part of this small and precious world. I hold us all in prayer.
I sit on my screen porch lit by candles, surrounded by peace, and offer my little part to hold us all together.