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  • Writer's picturedrliza99

Justice, Grief & Liberation

Updated: Jun 20, 2023


a candle flame through a small heart-shaped glass portal

This month's blog is a little different. I had planned to write something in honor of LGBTQIA+ Pride month and Juneteenth, each of which is -- in its own way -- about celebrating liberation even in the face of ongoing oppression. What I was drawn to share with you, though, is a prayer on grief and transformation that I wrote as the opening reflection for an event called “Transforming the Grief of Housing Injustice: A Faith-Based Approach." I don't often write my prayers, but this one woke me up one morning and pretty much dictated itself. In a way it seems fitting to offer now, for to sustain ourselves in the long struggle for justice there must be both celebration and grieving. One does not negate or dishonor the other. We need both.

The event was held over zoom, so I asked people to imagine that we were together in a great circle, hands joined in affirmation of our connection and amplifying our shared intent. Perhaps you will join this circle as you read these words, seeing yourself as part of a widespread loving assembly...

You may want to take a deep full breath in, and a long slow exhalation… Feel yourself centered in the Presence of the Divine (whatever that means to you), and in this sacred community beyond the boundaries of time and space…


Here are the words I offered... May they be a blessing to you now, and to us all in our ongoing work toward liberation:

**

We gather together in what mystic and activist Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel called a "sanctuary in time" to reflect on heartbreaking suffering and injustice, and to invoke the sacred alchemy of transformation...

We gather from many lifeways and faith traditions... Many ancestries and experiences...

We gather in our common concern for justice, healing, and the well-being of all...

As we reflect on the state of the world and of our communities,

Let our hearts be not merely broken, but broken-open...

The way a seed breaks open to allow the growth of stem, leaves, flower, fruit...

Let our broken-open hearts birth the vision of justice, and the courage and conviction to make it manifest...

Let our grief be like the breaking of the waters that herald the coming of new life, the birth of new ways of caring for one another and for all Being...

Let our tears be like the rain that softens the parched earth of our calloused hearts, to make of them a garden of possibility...

Let our minds be washed by this sacred water, cleansing the weariness of long struggle, and our souls be refreshed and enlivened...

We ask, Divine, that you walk with us, and guide us, as we hold one another in grieving, in healing, and in hope... That we may inspire and uplift one another in commitment and action...

Breathe into us, Holy One, and help us to bring our very best selves to this sacred calling...

Strengthen us when we grow weary, and refill our cups when they run dry... Keep our hearts always soft and open -- to You, and to one another...

Thank you, Divine... In your many holy names we pray.

Amen and Ase'


**

Photo of a candle flame through a small heart-shaped glass portal by Cathal Mac an Bheatha on UnSplash

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2 Comments


smagidson
Jun 18, 2023

What a beautiful prayer, Liza. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. May we share it, with attribution?

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drliza99
drliza99
Jun 18, 2023
Replying to

So glad it touched you. Fine to share, thank you. And please link back to this page so folks can find more and subscribe. 💜

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