“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Living the Words

I have a beautiful prayer, adapted from some ancient words from the Celtic Christian tradition, that I use daily, which encapsulate my conscious wish to live whole-heartedly, bringing my whole life under God's influence.

God to enfold me (in his loving arms)
God to surround me (so that I am always aware of His presence)
God in my speaking (so that I think before I speak / write, and don't use words that have the capacity to wound others)
God in my thinking (the "What would Jesus do?" question)

God in my dreaming (so that I have big plans for a better world)
God in my waking (so that I bring Her to my mind as soon as I awake)
God in my watching (so that I am aware and mindful of His presence, and also that I watch my own actions and words)
God in my hoping (so that I never give up)

God in my caring (for others, and also for myself)
God in my loving (because Love is the greatest force for good in the world)
God in my choosing (to live whole-heartedly and vulnerably and mindfully)
God in my trusting (that God *is* everywhere - particularly that there is "that of God in everyone", as the Quakers say)

God in my life (so that I try to live it mindfully, in awareness of Her presence)
God on my lips (so that my words do not wound)
God in my hands (so that my actions match those beliefs I am professing)
God in my heart (because Love is at the centre of everything)

God in my sufficing (so that I understand that who I am is enough, and that I don't need to "please, perform and perfect", to be loved)
God in my slumber (because I know the fundamental importance of rest and relaxation)
God in mine ever living soul, God in mine eternity (so that I recall that I came from Her and will eventually return to Her. And that the time in-between is the only life I have on this earth, my only chance to live wholeheartedly, striving to be the best person I can be).

Amen, Blessed Be.

Friday, 17 June 2016

Standing on the Side of Love

My Facebook feed this week has been filled with an outpouring of grief for the 50 innocent men and women who were senselessly murdered in the Pulse Club at Orlando, because one man was filled with hate for the LGBT community.

Many vigils have been held, both in the US and over here, in which people of all sexual orientations have been drawn together to mourn their loss, and to stand shoulder to shoulder with each other.

I have been incredibly moved by this up-swelling of love and solidarity. I posted this quote (shared by Sue Kelly Squires) on my own Facebook page yesterday, and was touched by the response of a friend: "Thanks Sue. I really needed to see this post today. I've been shocked by the homophobia of some Christians this week. I'm so tired of defending Christians to the gay community. It's time now for the Anglican Church to step up. You are so lovely to post this! Thank you!"

I felt both humbled and shamed as I read her words. Living as I do, a heterosexual white person, I had not truly appreciated until this week, the difficulties and fears that many of my LGBT friends still have to deal with every day. I had not realised how unaccepted and separate and vulnerable many of them still feel. I apologise for my lack of sensitivity and understanding, born of unthinking privilege.

Then this afternoon came the news of the murder of Jo Cox, a young MP who had spent her life fighting for the rights of those less fortunate than herself, notably Syrian refugees. She was shot, stabbed, and then kicked as she lay dying, by her vicious murderer.

Later on, her husband Brendan Cox issued a very moving statement: "She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now, one, that our precious children are bathed in love, and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn't have a creed, race, or religion. It is poisonous."

Maybe standing on the side of love, standing up for the best that humankind can be, sharing a message of hope, not hate, is all we can do. To quote Nick Lowles, of HOPE not Hate, "The best way to do that is for us all to redouble our efforts to challenge hatred, prejudice and intolerance, wherever we encounter it."

May we all remember this, in the weeks and months to come.