When we commit ourselves to draw closer to the Light, the Darkness within us becomes more and more apparent. We are asked to not become overcome by evil, but to overcome evil with good.
How can we live radiated by Hope and Love when we have also cloaked the world in shadow?
A selfless, altruistic life is a difficult one because it contradicts our natural tendency to put ourselves above others. We cannot possibly travel the road alone. We must forge communities that empower one another to face the darkness together.
Have mercy on your enemies, have mercy on yourself; in remembrance of the countless times when God and fate conspired to have mercy on you.
The Light dwells within us all. No one can stray so far that the flame can be snuffed out. Every second is an opportunity to turn toward loving your neighbor as yourself. But, please, learn what loving yourself looks like first.
Our human systems and structures tell us to look out for #1, that those who matter are the ones who we can benefit from. Be not conformed to those paradigms. Care for the widow, the orphan, and the stranger.
We are raised with the notion that this world works with us, and leads us to prosperity. This concept is false. We are raised as lambs to the slaughter. Only the most prestigious, wealthy, and educated have the power to rule. We must take control of our fates, one with another.
We find ourselves widowed, in mourning, for the promise of a life that is fair and just. We have the power to see justice served in this blighted world. But we can’t do it alone, and we cannot do it unless we work toward dismantling those systems that bind and snare us.
We find ourselves orphaned, without opportunities to rise, and clamor to stomp on the heads of those who also try in vain to climb the ladder of material wealth and ‘worldly’ success. We must lift one another up, even if that is so very hard to do. Even if we die trying.
We have become strangers to our neighbor, our families, and even foreign to ourselves. We are suspicious of those different than us- who sing hymns of life different than our own. We are called to sing in one accord, a symphony that drowns out the booming sirens of oppression.
Even in the roaring tempest, the Light shines. Even in the pits of darkness, a candle leads us out. Reclaim your glory. Reclaim your worth. Drink not of the poison of what those in power tell you to drink, but from the cup of Living Water, and pour yourself into empty vessels.
Prophecy among your people. Speak those Truths that have the power to dispel the cacophony of those lies you took to heart as a child. Lies that made you feel unworthy. Not good enough. Draw out the Light so that we may burn a path for others to follow.
We are filled with fear, anxiety, and doubt of a bright future. We must rally around hope- a belief that the changes to come bloom out of a desire to see seats are made for everyone who desires to sit at the table.
We must pray earnestly that all the Children of God- not just some, come to desire peace and harmony, and not subjugate the “other”- we pray those shackles of –phobia break, so we may courageously love those who are not like us.
We are called to mend the world, and stitch up the wounds we have caused with our thoughts, words, and actions. All are of sacred worth. All are worthy of mercy, grace, justice, and love.
He said: “Forgive them, for they do not know what they do”.
We are forgiven.
We now know what we have done.
It is on us to right our wrongs.
To protect who have no ability to defend themselves.
These are not suggestions.
This is our charge.
This is our command.