We all knew it was coming;
we knew that if the man was caught
at something explicitly illegal
and it looked like he was really in trouble
he would start a new war.
But the thing is
The thing is
that the baby titmice fledged
and everyone exited the nest.
The internet says titmice
have only one brood per season
so we took the nest down,
wanting to clean the porch.
Apparently that was a mistake
because the parents are now
building a new nest,
flying to and fro
carrying grass and twigs
to the new location,
also on the porch.
This has happened to us before.
Once we watched mourning doves
raise five broods in a row
on top of a kayak
hanging under a portico.
So the thing is
just keep nesting.
Despite all setbacks,
they do the work
that is theirs to do
in response to the call of Life.
Let us go and do likewise.
Every day this week, the news has sent me reeling with shock. The atrocities being committed by human beings upon other human beings, as well as upon other kinds of beings—including the very Earth—are so numerous and so terrible that I feel overwhelmed and unable to speak. I have expected these things to come to pass and yet I am still shocked, and I am afraid of what will be next.
As a minister, I have sometimes felt that my job is to give people hope even when times are dark. Sometimes that may be true. Sometimes. More often, my job is to be present to what is truly happening, and to name it as best I can. And to be present with my people, and help them be present with each other.
Today, I can’t give you hope. Today, I must be present to the grief and anger and pain that arise when the government of our own rich and powerful nation decides to begin bombing a country whose people are already suffering trauma beyond trauma. In that spirit, I offer you this prayer:
Spirit of Life,
Great immensity of love
in which we live and move
and have our being:
Sometimes there are no words
that can express the enormity
of our grief and outrage.
This is one of those times.
There is just so much.
So much that is evil and wrong.
So much that is cruel and hateful.
So much that is simply painful.
In times such as these, let us come together.
Let us sit in silence with candles lit.
Let our tears fall freely.
Let us not be afraid to break the silence with wails and sobs.
Let us hold each other while we weep.
This is how we make manifest
the love that will not let us go:
we hold on to one another.
For we can only get through this, together.
We can only change this, together.
O Light of Life, Light of Love,
You who shine from every heart here:
In this lovely blue and green and gold place
on the flanks of the mountains
and on the banks of the rivers,
we are far from any battlefields.
It can be hard to believe in the reality of war.
But war is all too real.
And even here,
mothers and fathers and sisters
and brothers and friends and lovers
are mourning beloveds who were soldiers.
May we honor the dead
it is possible to live in peace.
May we transform possibility
Spirit of Life, Source of all love:
On this Veterans Day,
we long for the blessing of eros.
We long for life-giving love
to sweep across the face of the earth
and make war a distant memory.
May we be a people
who bring such love into the world.
May we open our hearts to veterans
and be willing to hear their stories.
May we make them welcome in our midst.
May we sit with them
as they make sense of their experience.
May we offer them the love
that heals all wounds,
binds all that is broken,
and wipes away all tears.
May we honor veterans
by building the world they most need.
May it be so. Blessed be.