Lord, prepare me to be a Sanctuary

Lord, prepare me to be a Sanctuary

What soap is to the body, so tears are to the soul”

– Jewish Proverb

We are living in curious times, poetically beautiful at times, troubling and challenging at other times – but most of all we are living in poignant times that beckon us to arise from our slumber and go to work. Some days it seems too much to bear, yet within the ache of this hour is a critical mission to answer.

Last week Matthew Sheppard was finally laid to rest inside the National Cathedral.  Sheppard was brutally murdered 20 years ago in Wyoming for being gay. His death sparked the legislative efforts mark violent acts like these Hate Crimes.  His parents never made a public resting place for his ashes over fears that it would become a site of violence.  20 years later when the National Cathedral called to say we have a sacred place for your son, right next to Hellen Keller and Woodrow Willson – it was a powerful and symbolic act that stated; Your son will be safe in our sanctuary.  Makes sense doesn’t it?  We all should feel safe in a sanctuary.  Yet recent events have disturbed that notion of safety.

Last week two African Americans were gunned down in a grocery store in Kentucky.  The gunman’s desire was to go to a local black church to carry out his act of rage in their sanctuary.  He was deterred and choose the local grocery store instead.  Dearly beloveds, Black Lives Still Matter.

Then, just hours later – open gunfire inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.  11 lives lost, several police officers and first responders injured.  

Then on Monday, after many Americans mourned together in inter-faith services or at their own churches on Sunday, while many more Americans tried to put their grief, confusion, and pain behind them with a football game or the world series – another school shooting took place in North Carolina.  One student died, the shooter, another victim of bullying, apprehended.  The sanctuary of our public schools, where we entrust our children, stained once again.

It is hard to know what to say in times like these.  We’ve offered prayers and condolences too many times to find fresh words.

This weekend as I prepared for Sunday’s sermon – a conclusion on the month-long series on prosperity and abundance – I reflected long and deep on where we are as a nation and culture.  We are a culture saturated with violence in many forms.  From movies and video games to Twitter, micro-aggressions, bullying, and demonization of the other.  It infiltrates our social media pages and our news programs on a daily basis.  The noise of polarization is overwhelming and it manifests in outbursts of violence.  But here is what we must understand:

Violence fundamentally is a manifestation of lack.

Violence fundamentally is a manifestation of lack.  Whether that violence is verbal, or physical it stems from a sense of separation from wholeness.  It is rooted in an overwhelming sense of not enough, separation and disengagement from the source of Wholeness.  What can we do?  The only thing we can do, apply the principles we teach to the conditions of our time.

Before It Is Too Late

By Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling – Washington DC, United Methodist Church

I do not know exactly what lies ahead; how far we will have to travel on the road of unrest. 

I cannot foretell the number of bombs that will have to explode or the lives that will have to be lost before…

Before we understand that we cannot kill each other into the future we think we have imagined. 

You cannot hate enough to make yourself happy. 

You cannot destroy enough to make yourself feel secure. 

You cannot oppress enough to make yourself feel superior. 

You cannot commit enough evil to make yourself feel holy. 

I do not know exactly what lies ahead; how far we will have to travel on the road of unrest.

I cannot foretell how many rights will have to be taken away, or how much progress will have to be reversed before…

Before we understand that we cannot persecute each other into the future we think we have imagined.

We cannot neglect each other enough to feel worthy. 

We cannot starve each other enough to feel full. 

We cannot silence one another enough to feel heard. 

We cannot fragment each other enough to feel whole. 

I do not know exactly what lies ahead; how far we will to travel on the road of unrest.

I cannot foretell how many babies’ bodies will have to float on the sea of greed and vainglory before…

Before we understand that we cannot bully our way into the future we think we have imagined. 

We cannot bury each other deep enough to feel alive. 

We cannot rape each other enough to feel loved. 

We cannot infect each other enough to feel well. 

We cannot enslave one another enough to feel free. 

Before it is too late may we understand that the call is coming from inside the house. 

Before it is too late may we comprehend that the

Stench

Rot

Brokenness

Emptiness

Insecurity 

Woundedness

Disease

is from within and not without. 

Erasing you will not heal me. 

May we understand before it is too late. 

God, help us to understand before it is too late. Amen.

 

Our Mission is to provide spiritual tools for personal and global transformation

Communities such as ours, dedicated to the awakening of humanity through the teachings of New Thought principles are critical in this time.  It is only as we accept our Wholeness that we erase the source of violence and hate within ourselves and therefore the world.  There is, in my estimation, no greater time of importance to support the vital spiritual awakening work of the planet than right now!

The world needs you to be whole, healed and awake!  But here is the thing…as I was teaching on Sunday; You cannot give out what you have not first received.  You cannot be the love that someone else desperately needs – if you do know the depth of the love that is the source of your very being.  Receiving is as important as giving.  Spirit has already given the gift of itself to us – completely and wholly without condition or exception.  But without a receiver – the gift cannot be complete.

You belong to a community like this, learning about your own wholeness is helping make complete – the gift that you have been given.  As you accept the fullness of who you are, you are then free to give of yourself to the planet.  And the world needs the love that you have to give.  That means the world needs you to first accept your wholeness.

Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief.

Do justly, now.

Love mercy, now.

Walk humbly, now.

You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.

–  The Talmud

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