Grief will rise up and remind you of it's embrace. There is not an end. New sadnesses can pull past grief forward so that it holds you, once again.
That is the way that I feel over the last couple days. But in particular, I am yearning for the matriarchs--my mother, my grandmother.
I am a bit sick so I feel like I need some mom or grandma time! My mother passed 23 years ago and I still miss her. As a young adult, I had no idea how much it would affect my entire life. How I would long to ask even simple questions about her life experiences. How every time I went to the doctor, they would ask questions that I would have to research to find answers to.
So, today, I would like to honor remembering. We all have griefs from small to big. They help form us into a new person. Loss is an inevitable part of life. The Chaplaincy Institute reminds us, though, of the potential positive outcomes of grief:
- Deeper spiritual connection.
- Artistic expression.
- Greater compassion for self and others.
- Personal empowerment.
- Integration and wholeness.
Grief should not be necessarily shut down, either. Even 20 years later. In some ways, it is as if my mother is putting her hand on my shoulder and saying, "I know, let it go." Grief and release.
Today's practice is inspired by music from Kellie Pickler, poetry from Hart Crane, and sacred wisdom from Washington Irving along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita. The photo is from the Hubble Telescope.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--sigh
I Wonder by Kellie Pickler
Sometimes I think about you
Wonder if you're out there somewhere thinking 'bout me
And would you even recognize
The woman that your little girl has grown up to be
My Grandmother’s Love Letters by Hart Crane
There are no stars tonight
But those of memory.
Yet how much room for memory there is
In the loose girdle of soft rain.
There is even room enough
For the letters of my mother’s mother,
That have been pressed so long
Into a corner of the roof
That they are brown and soft,
And liable to melt as snow.
Over the greatness of such space
Steps must be gentle.
It is all hung by an invisible white hair.
It trembles as birch limbs webbing the air.
And I ask myself:
“Are your fingers long enough to play
Old keys that are but echoes:
Is the silence strong enough
To carry back the music to its source
And back to you again
As though to her?”
Yet I would lead my grandmother by the hand
Through much of what she would not understand;
And so I stumble. And the rain continues on the roof
With such a sound of gently pitying laughter.
For full, typed-out scripture, follow this link
I Corinthians 15:1-11
Qur'an Surah 3.26-32
Bhagavad Gita 3.17-21
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know! The readings are from the Daily Torah Study, the Christian Lectionary, and reading the Qur'an and Bhagavad Gita straight through.
“There is a sacredness in tears....They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition and of unspeakable love.” ― Washington Irving
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the Kolkata, India, flyover collapse
for the forced return of Syrian refugees from Turkey
for the air strikes in Damascus by their own government
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
304 incidents, 80 killed, 173 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the new pictures from the Hubble Telescope
for today's deadline, in Zimbabwe, to transfer all corporate ownership to local, black people
for California's move to a $15 minimum wage
for Edwin's Restaurant in Cleveland that only hires returning citizens (ex-convicts)
For China, Honk Kong, and Macau
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold
of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.
"Amen" means "may it be so."
"May peace prevail on earth." is an addition inspired by Michael Dickel
BIBOLove is an addition attributed to the work of Soyinka Rahim, InterPlay practice, BIBOLove
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
1And the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, to say to them:
2Speak to the children of Israel, saying: These are the creatures that you may eat among all the animals on earth:
3Any animal that has a cloven hoof that is completely split into double hooves, and which brings up its cud that one you may eat.
4But these you shall not eat among those that bring up the cud and those that have a cloven hoof: the camel, because it brings up its cud, but does not have a [completely] cloven hoof; it is unclean for you.
5And the hyrax, because it brings up its cud, but will not have a [completely] cloven hoof; it is unclean for you;
6And the hare, because it brings up its cud, but does not have a [completely] cloven hoof; it is unclean for you;
7And the pig, because it has a cloven hoof that is completely split, but will not regurgitate its cud; it is unclean for you.
8You shall not eat of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean for you.
9Among all [creatures] that are in the water, you may eat these: Any [of the creatures] in the water that has fins and scales, those you may eat, whether [it lives] in the waters, in the seas or in the rivers.
10But any [creatures]that do not have fins and scales, whether in the seas or in the rivers, among all the creeping creatures in the water and among all living creatures that [live] in the water, are an abomination for you.
11And they shall be an abomination for you. You shall not eat of their flesh, and their dead bodies you shall hold in abomination.
12Any [creature] that does not have fins and scales in the water is an abomination for you.
13And among birds, you shall hold these in abomination; they shall not be eaten; they are an abomination: The eagle [or the griffin vulture], the kite, the osprey,
14the kestrel, and the vulture after its species,
15and the raven after its species,
16the ostrich, the jay, and the sparrow hawk, and the goshawk after its species;
17The owl, the gull, the little owl;
18The bat, the starling, the magpie;
19the stork, the heron after its species; the hoopoe and the atalef [bat?];
20Any flying insect that walks on four, is an abomination for you.
21However, among all the flying insects that walk on four [legs], you may eat [from] those that have jointed [leg like] extensions above its [regular] legs, with which they hop on the ground.
22From this [locust] category, you may eat the following: The red locust after its species, the yellow locust after its species, the spotted gray locust after its species and the white locust after its species.
23But any [other] flying insect that has four legs, is an abomination for you.
24And through these you will become unclean; anyone who touches their dead bodies will be unclean until evening;
25And anyone who carries their carcass shall immerse his garments, and he shall be unclean until evening:
26Any animal that has a cloven hoof that is not completely split, and which does not bring up its cud, is unclean for you. Anyone who touches them shall become unclean.
27And among all the animals that walk on four legs, any [animal] that walks on its paws is unclean for you. Anyone who touches their carcass will be unclean until evening.
28And one who carries their carcass shall immerse his garments, and he will be unclean until evening. They are unclean for you.
29And this is unclean for you among creeping creatures that creep on the ground: The weasel, the mouse, and the toad after its species;
30The hedgehog, the chameleon, the lizard, the snail, and the mole.
31These are the ones that are unclean for you, among all creeping creatures; anyone who touches them when they are dead will be unclean until evening.
32And if any of these dead [creatures] falls upon anything, it will become unclean, whether it is any wooden vessel, garment, hide or sack, any vessel with which work is done; it shall be immersed in water, but will remain unclean until evening, and it will become clean.
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
1My soul, bless the Lord. My God, You are very great, You are attired with majesty and beauty.
2[You] enwrap Yourself with light like a garment; [You] extend the heavens like a curtain.
3Who roofs His upper chambers with water; Who makes clouds His chariot, which goes on the wings of the wind.
4He makes winds His messengers, burning fire His ministers.
5He founded the earth on its foundations that it not falter to eternity.
6You covered the deep as [with] a garment; the waters stand on the mountains.
7From Your rebuke they fled; from the sound of Your thunder they hastened away.
8They ascended mountains, they descended into valleys to this place, which You had founded for them.
9You set a boundary that they should not cross, that they should not return to cover the earth.
10He sends the springs into the streams; they go between the mountains.
11They water every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12Beside them the fowl of the heavens dwell; from between the branches they let out their voices.
13He waters the mountains from His upper chambers; from the fruit of Your works the earth is sated.
14He causes grass to sprout for the animals and vegetation for the work of man, to bring forth bread from the earth.
15And wine, which cheers man's heart, to make the face shine from oil, and bread, which sustains man's heart.
16The Lord's trees are sated, the cedars of Lebanon, which He planted.
17Where birds nest; as for the stork-the high junipers are its home.
18The lofty mountains for the ibexes; the rocks a shelter for the hyraxes.
19He made the moon for the appointed seasons; the sun knows its setting.
20You make darkness and it is night, in which every beast of the forest moves about.
21The young lions roar for prey and to beg their food from God.
22When the sun rises they gather in and couch in their dens.
23Man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
24How great are Your works, O Lord! You have made them all with wisdom; the earth is full of Your possessions!
25This sea-great and wide; there are creeping things and innumerable beasts, both small and large.
26There the ships go; You formed this leviathan with which to sport.
27They all look to You with hope, to give their food in its time.
28You give them that they may gather; You open Your hand that they may be sated with goodness.
29You hide Your countenance and they are frightened; You gather in their spirit and they perish and return to their dust.
30You will send forth Your spirit and they will be created, and You will renew the surface of the ground.
31The glory of the Lord will be forever; the Lord will rejoice with His works.
32He Who looks at the earth and it quakes; He touches the mountains and they emit smoke.
33I shall sing to the Lord while I am alive; I shall sing praises to my God as long as I exist.
34May my speech be pleasing to Him; I shall rejoice with the Lord.
35Sinners will be destroyed from the earth and the wicked will be no more; my soul, bless the Lord. Hallelujah.
I Corinthians 15:1-11
The Voice version
Let me remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I preached to you when we first met. It’s the essential message that you have taken to heart, the central story you now base your life on; 2 and through this gospel, you are liberated—unless, of course, your faith has come to nothing. 3-4 For I passed down to you the crux of it all which I had also received from others, that the Anointed One, the Liberating King, died for our sins and was buried and raised from the dead on the third day. All this happened to fulfill the Scriptures; it was the perfect climax to God’s covenant story. 5 Afterward He appeared alive to Cephas[a] (you may know him as Simon Peter), then to the rest of the twelve. 6 If that were not amazing enough, on one occasion, He appeared to more than 500 believers at one time. Many of those brothers and sisters are still around to tell the story, though some have fallen asleep[b] in Jesus. 7 Soon He appeared to James, His brother and the leader of the Jerusalem church, and then to all the rest of the emissaries[c] He Himself commissioned.[d] 8 Last of all, He appeared to me;[e] I was like a child snatched from his mother’s womb. 9 You see, I am the least of all His emissaries, not fit to be called His emissary because I hunted down and persecuted God’s church. 10 Today I am who I am because of God’s grace, and I have made sure that the grace He offered me has not been wasted. I have worked harder, longer, and smarter than all the rest; but I realize it is not me—it is God’s grace with me that has made the difference. 11 In the end, it doesn’t matterwhether it was I or the other witnesses who brought you the message. What matters is that we keep preaching and that you have faith in this message.
Ecclesia Bible Society (2012-04-09). The Voice Bible, eBook: Step Into the Story of Scripture. Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Quran Surah 3.26-32
Quran: A Simple English Translation
26 Say, ‘Lord, sovereign of all sovereignty. You bestow sovereignty on whom you will and take it away from whom You please; You exalt whoever You will and abase whoever You will. All that is good lies in Your hands. You have the power to will anything.
27 You cause the night to pass into the day, and the day into the night; You bring forth the living from the lifeless and the lifeless from the living. You give without measure to whom You will.’
28 Let not the believers take those who deny the truth for their allies in preference to the believersc— anyone who does that will isolate himself completely from God— unless it be to protect yourselves against them in this way.a God admonishes you to fear Him: for, to God shall all return.
29 Say, ‘God knows everything that is in your heart, whether you conceal it or reveal it; He knows everything that the heavens and earth contain; God has power over all things.’
30 On the Day when every human being will find himself faced with all the good that he has done, and with all the evil that he has done, many will wish that there were a long space of time between himself and that [Day]. God admonishes you to fear Him, but God is compassionate towards His servants.
31 Say, ‘If you love God, follow me and God will love you and forgive you your sins. God is most forgiving, and most merciful.’
32 Say, ‘Obey God and the Messenger,’ and if they turn away, God does not love those who deny the truth.
Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin; Goodword (2013-12-11). Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword ! Koran) (Kindle Locations 901-913). Goodword Books. Kindle Edition.
Bhagavad Gita 3.17-21
But the man who delights in the Self,
who feels pure contentment
and finds perfect peace in the Self—
for him, there is no need to act.
He has nothing to achieve by action,
nothing to gain by inaction,
nor does he depend on any
person outside himself.
Without concern for results,
perform the necessary action;
surrendering all attachments,
accomplish life’s highest good.
Only by selfless action
did Janaka and other wise kings
govern, and thus assure
the well-being of the whole world.
Whatever a great man does
ordinary people will do;
whatever standard he sets
everyone else will follow.
Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-18). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (Kindle Locations 504-505). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.