Rev. Meredith Garmon
"Marvelous Truth, confront us at every turn, in every guise, iron ball, egg, dark horse, shadow, cloud of breath on the air,Dear Truth, marvelous and terrible,
Dwell in our crowded hearts, our steaming bathrooms, kitchens full of things to be done, the ordinary streets.
Thrust close your smile that we know you, terrible joy." (Denise Levertov, SLT #500)
We ask, giving words to our longing, that you be with us, and, what is more, that we be with you. We have opinions, viewpoints, strategies and approaches born of experience. We cannot help but have opinions, and we need them, but we pray to remember that they are never the whole truth. They are born of our particular experience, and do not hold universally. There is an element of poetry in them. At their best, our opinions are creative, insightful, helpful. But there are always infinite possible alternative poems, equally or more creative, equally or more helpful, equally or more insightful.
Dear Truth, let us not hide from the terrible. Let us open and receive all the pain, all the loss, all the grief, all the tears. Let us be present, examining our own impulse to be in denial, to push out of mind. Love and compassion are our greatest joy, our fullest living and being, and love and compassion require this attention.
May we have eyes to see the beauty amidst the pain, and hands that work to ease the suffering.
We give thanks for the many organizations and groups helping those displaced in almost every corner of your world. We remember the entire 60,000 population of the city of Fort McMurray, Canada, forced to evacuate due to wildfires. We remember also the refugees on Nauru in Micronesia and Papua New Guinea, where hundreds of people, including children, have lived for months or even years in Australian off-shore detention centers. We give thanks that United Kingdom Prime Minister has reversed his decision and is to allow unaccompanied Syrian children, already in Europe, to come to live in the UK. We give thanks too for those helping highlight and provide education for children in refugee camps. Girls are far more likely than boys to be left out of education. We pray for all children to be given the chance of education, and get the tools to find a way out of their poverty and insecurity. We give thanks for those giving them love, giving them hope, giving them truth.
May Truth bless each person, group, and organization caring for and protecting others: teachers, social workers, care-givers, parents, families, and friends: may they be channels of love, grace, and liberating truth – and may we be among them.