Out of the depths, I cry to You, Lord. Ps. 130
As I sat at my desk to write this month’s reflection, I was given a prayer for the new year. It’s a prayer I needed to write, with hope for new beginnings in a new year.
O God, in this season of new beginnings, may we choose our beginnings wisely. May we choose to be open to the journey of healing here within this country of conflict. In this season of new beginnings, the journey of healing begins at the portal of grief. We bring our grief for the pain we have caused, for the hatred we blasted at each other, for the blinders that narrowed our seeing and the indifference of our listening. We bring our remorse, knowing new beginnings are rooted in the soil of remorse, rooted in horror at the deaths of those who should have lived. They paid for our blindness, our disregard, our turning away. O God, out of the depths of grief, we call to you, but we know our lament has no power unless it pierces us. Our lament has no power unless we weep, acknowledging we are complicit in the brokenness around us. For our silence, our walking on the other side, our shrugging lightly when it is time to tear our clothes, for all this, others have paid. In this season of new beginnings, O God of love and mercy, we desire a new beginning. In the midst of our grief, may we birth love. Surrounded by wreckage from the storms, broken open by our lament, teach us to live beyond our fears, to embrace the other and love generously. In place of our blindness, may we give ourselves to the work of clear-eyed seeing, whole-hearted listening, until the pangs of deep compassion stir us to live and love as if our souls depend on it. O God, may walking the path of grief bring us to the healing work of a new beginning for this time.
The words of this prayer poem came to me as an unexpected gift, a response to a question I didn’t know I was asking myself. The question may be yours as well: How can I contribute to healing in this divided and struggling world as we move through 2021? I don’t have a step-by-step answer, but I do believe the attitude of my heart is the place to begin. I bring my heart’s grief and my recognition that I am involved in brokenness through silence. I bring my desire to be a presence of love through my being and my doing. Now is the time of beginnings.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King