Sick days are a real thing! I apologize for my absence, but some sort of flu type illness knocked me out. I just started a new medical treatment last week and I am certain it weakened my immune system just enough that I picked up the flu because I had the flu shot. Sigh.
My big energetic expenditure was to sit on a juvenile justice panel yesterday. Afterwards, I came home and was a vegetable. On the panel, we talked about the state of juvenile justice in King county. Unfortunately, we can't really talk about King County as if we are in a bubble all by ourselves. The first question, which I knew ahead of time, was: "Why are kids locked up in King County?" I don't know what it was about reading the question, but I thought root causes:
- Systemically racist policies that target communities of color. The evidence is clear that Nixon, the first to mention the War on Drugs, was intentionally targeting "blacks and hippies." Ronald Reagan had the welfare queen imagery. Bush had Willie Horton. Now we have the image of the brown-skinned terrorist.
That is where I expected it to go. But what I got was a litany of the charges youth are booked for. Oh. So much more mundane. It doesn't even seem to touch the 87% youth of color incarceration rate in King County. Why yes, King County, 70% white, has an incarceration rate of 87% youth of color. That is astronomically horrible. So the question is why.
- Community policing is a failure in marginalized communities
- Constant gentrification removes natural support systems from fragile families
- The history of redlining in Seattle corralled people into ghettos, pockets of hopelessness
- Let's face it, Seattle has a settlement history of trying to get away from "the race issue."
I'm sure the lists are all long. What we do need to know is that at this point in time, it is a complex issue. Incremental change is not good enough for people who are suffering. And yet, we are not at the point of a revolution. There are massive changes happening within juvenile detention thanks to the #blacklivesmatter and no new youth jail movement. I feel like the county is seeing, finally, that they cannot run juvenile detention the same as adult detention. This is allowing the administration to move in with new policy proposals that are beneficial.
Today's practice is inspired by music from Gil Scott-Heron, poetry from the Prophet for Life, and sacred wisdom from Ta-Nehisi Coates along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita. The photo is from early in Seattle's history.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--roar!
Introduction / The Revolution Will Not Be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron
You will not be able to stay home, brother.
You will not be able to plug in, turn on and cop out.
You will not be able to lose yourself on skag and
skip out for beer during commercials,
Because the revolution will not be televised.
A Requiem for Laquan by The Prophet for Life
In a State known for Lincoln
In a City once known for Capone
and the coining of the phrase “Vote Early and vote often.”
Now Known for Oprah and Obama
A drugged, 17 Year old young man that tries to walk away from trouble
Is given 16 reasons to stop
By an Officer of the Peace
Laquan rests but does not rest in peace
When he is laid to rest,
The headlines tell the official story
In Black and White
of just another kid trying to charge officers with a knife
And like John Brown Laquan’s truth goes marching on
but not immediately
And like a dream deferred, potential lost, festers
Until it explodes
A year later, after the former Chief Executive
Of America’s Chief Executive
Wins re-election as Mayor of Chicago
A video surfaces out of the murky depths of corruption
The video shows Laquan’s truth
It shows that his death was not a case of black and white
But one with shades of Freddie Gray and Eric Garner
And a cover up is uncovered
The dirt swept under the rug is blown out by a digital storm
And Like Freddie and Eric and Trayvon before them
The name of Laquan McDonald is added to the list
Of Black Lives that mattered
But were lost to humanity anyway.
The Prophet Of Life (2015-01-07). Black In America: Essays & Poems about Racism in America. Includes: A Poem for Martin Luther King Jr. Why We Say Black Lives Matter (Kindle Locations 429-434). Love Force International Publishing. Kindle Edition.
For full, typed-out scripture, follow this link
Psalm 119: 1-96
I Corinthians 15:12-20
Qur'an Surah 3.33-41
Bhagavad Gita 3.22-26
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.
“You must resist the common urge toward the comforting narrative of divine law, toward fairy tales that imply some irrepressible justice. The enslaved were not bricks in your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine. Enslavement was not destined to end, and it is wrong to claim our present circumstance—no matter how improved—as the redemption for the lives of people who never asked for the posthumous, untouchable glory of dying for their children. Our triumphs can never compensate for this.” ― Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the flooding in NW Pakistan
for fighting in Yereven, Armenia between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces
for the mass grave of victims found in Palmyra, Syria
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72 hours,
176 incidents, 53 killed, 130 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the Nigerian army rescuing over 800 Boko Haram hostages
for the first time the global economy has grown while CO2 emissions remain the same
for the world's first HIV-to-HIV liver transplant
for Campbell's Soups removing BPA from their cans
For Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore
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
1 And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying:
2 If a man has a se'eith, a sappachath, or a bahereth on the skin of his flesh, and it forms a lesion of tzara'ath on the skin of his flesh, he shall be brought to Aaron the kohen, or to one of his sons, the kohanim.
3 The kohen shall look at the lesion on the skin of his flesh, and [if] hair in the lesion has turned white and the appearance of the lesion is deeper than the skin of his flesh, it is a lesion of tzara'ath. When the kohen sees this, he shall pronounce him unclean.
4 But if it is a white bahereth on the skin of his flesh, and its appearance is not deeper than the skin, and its hair has not turned white, the kohen shall quarantine the [person with the] lesion for seven days.
5 And on the seventh day, the kohen shall see him. And, behold! the lesion has remained the same in its appearance; the lesion has not spread on the skin. So the kohen shall quarantine him for seven days a second time.
6 And the kohen shall see him on the seventh day a second time. And, behold! the lesion has become dimmer, and the lesion has not spread on the skin, the kohen shall pronounce him clean. It is a mispachath. He shall immerse his garments and become clean.
7 However, if the mispachath spreads on the skin after it has been shown it to the kohen for its purification, it shall be shown to the kohen a second time.
8 The kohen shall look [at it]. And, behold! the mispachath has spread on the skin. The kohen shall pronounce him unclean. It is tzara'ath.
9 If a man has a lesion of tzara'ath, he shall be brought to the kohen.
10 The kohen shall look [at it]. And, behold! there is a white se'eith on the skin, and either it has turned the hair white, or there is healthy, live flesh in the se'eith,
11 it is old tzara'ath on the skin of his flesh, and the kohen shall pronounce him unclean; he need not quarantine him because he is unclean.
12 And if the tzara'ath has spread over the skin, whereby the tzara'ath covers all the skin of the [person with the] lesion, from his head to his feet, wherever the eyes of the kohen can see it,
13 then the kohen shall look [at it]. And, behold! the tzara'ath has covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce [the person with] the lesion clean. He has turned completely white; he is clean.
14 But on the day that live flesh appears in it, he shall become unclean.
15 When the kohen sees the healthy, live flesh, he shall pronounce him unclean. The live flesh is unclean; it is tzara'ath.
16 But, if the healthy, live flesh once again turns white, he shall come to the kohen.
17 And the kohen shall look at it. And, behold! the lesion has turned white; the kohen shall pronounce the lesion clean. He is clean.
Psalm 119: 1-96
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
1 Praiseworthy are those whose way is perfect, who walk with the law of the Lord.
2 Praiseworthy are those who keep His testimonies; who seek Him wholeheartedly.
3 Not only have they committed no injustice, they walked in His ways.
4 You commanded Your precepts, to keep diligently.
5 My prayers are that my ways should be established, to keep Your statutes.
6 Then I shall not be ashamed when I look at all Your commandments.
7 I shall thank You with an upright heart when I learn the judgments of Your righteousness.
8 I shall keep Your statutes; do not forsake me utterly.
9 In what manner should a youth purify his way? To observe according to Your word.
10 With all my heart I searched for You; do not cause me to stray from Your commandments.
11 In my heart I hid Your word, in order that I should not sin against You.
12 Blessed are You, O Lord; teach me Your statutes.
13 With my lips I recited all the judgments of Your mouth.
14 With the way of Your testimonies I rejoiced as over all riches.
15 Concerning Your precepts I shall converse, and I shall look at Your ways.
16 With Your statutes I shall occupy myself; I shall not forget Your speech.
17 Bestow kindness upon Your servant; I shall live and I shall keep Your word.
18 Uncover my eyes and I shall look at hidden things from Your Torah.
19 I am a stranger in the land; do not hide Your commandments from me.
20 My soul is crushed from longing for Your judgments at all times.
21 You shall rebuke cursed willful sinners who stray from Your commandments.
22 Remove from me disgrace and contempt, for I kept Your testimonies.
23 Although princes sat and talked about me, Your servant conversed about Your statutes.
24 Also, Your testimonies are my affairs, men of my counsel.
25 My soul clung to the dust; revive me according to Your word.
26 I told of my ways, and You answered me; teach me Your statutes.
27 Make me understand Your precepts, and I shall speak of Your wonders.
28 My soul drips from grief; sustain me according to Your word.
29 Remove from me the way of falsehood, and favor me with Your Torah.
30 I chose the way of faith; Your judgments I have set [before me].
31 I clung to Your testimonies; O Lord; put me not to shame.
32 [In] the way of Your commandments I shall run, for You will broaden my understanding.
33 Instruct me, O Lord, [in] the way of Your statutes, and I shall keep it at every step.
34 Enable me to understand and I shall keep Your Torah, and I shall keep it wholeheartedly.
35 Lead me in the path of Your commandments for I desired it.
36 Extend my heart to Your testimonies and not to monetary gain.
37 Turn away my eyes from seeing vanity; with Your ways sustain me.
38 Fulfill for Your servant Your word that is for Your fear.
39 Remove my disgrace, which I feared, for Your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I longed for Your precepts; with Your righteousness sustain me.
41 And may Your acts of kindness befall me, O Lord, Your salvation according to Your word.
42 And I shall answer a word to those who disgrace me, for I trusted in Your word.
43 And do not take out utterly from my mouth a word of truth, because I hoped for Your words.
44 And I shall keep Your Torah constantly, forever and ever.
45 And I shall walk in widely accepted ways, for I sought Your precepts.
46 And I shall speak of Your testimonies in the presence of kings, and I shall not be ashamed.
47 And I shall engage in Your commandments, which I love.
48 And I shall lift up my palms to Your commandments, which I love, and I shall converse about Your statutes.
49 Remember a word to Your servant, through which You gave me hope.
50 This is my consolation in my affliction, for Your word has sustained me.
51 Willful sinners derided me greatly; I did not turn away from Your Torah.
52 I remembered Your judgments of old, O Lord, and I was consoled.
53 Quaking gripped me because of the wicked men who abandoned Your Torah.
54 Your statutes were to me as songs in the house of my sojournings.
55 At night I remembered Your name, O Lord, and I kept Your Torah.
56 This came to me because I kept Your precepts.
57 "The Lord is my portion," I said, to keep Your words.
58 I entreated You with all my heart; favor me according to Your word.
59 I considered my ways, and I returned my feet to Your testimonies.
60 I hastened and did not delay to keep Your commandments.
61 Bands of wicked men robbed me; I did not forget Your Torah.
62 At midnight, I rise to give thanks to You for Your just judgments.
63 I am a companion to all who fear You and to those who keep your precepts.
64 O Lord, the earth is full of Your kindness; teach me Your statutes.
65 You have done good with Your servant, O Lord, according to Your word.
66 The best of reason and knowledge, teach me for I believe in Your commandments.
67 Before I recited, I erred, but now I keep Your word.
68 You are good and You do good; teach me Your statutes.
69 Willful sinners have heaped false accusations upon me, but I keep your precepts wholeheartedly.
70 Thick like fat is their heart, but I engage in Your Torah.
71 It is good for me that I was afflicted, in order that I learn Your statutes.
72 The instruction of Your mouth is better for me than thousands of gold and silver.
73 Your hands made me and fashioned me; enable me to understand, and I shall learn Your commandments.
74 Those who fear You will see me and rejoice for I hoped for Your word.
75 I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are just, and in faith You afflicted me.
76 May Your kindness be [upon me] now to comfort me, as Your word to Your servant.
77 May Your mercy come upon me so that I shall live, for Your Torah is my occupation.
78 May the willful sinners be shamed for they condemned me falsely; I shall converse about Your precepts.
79 May those who fear You and those who know Your testimonies return to me.
80 May my heart be perfect in Your statutes in order that I not be shamed.
81 My soul pines for Your salvation; for Your word I hope.
82 My eyes pine for Your word, saying, "When will You console me?"
83 For I have become like a wineskin in smoke; I have not forgotten Your statutes.
84 How many are Your servant's days? When will You execute judgments upon my pursuers?
85 Willful sinners have dug pits for me, which is not according to Your Torah.
86 All Your commandments are faithful; they pursued me in vain; help me.
87 They almost destroyed me on earth, but I did not forsake Your precepts.
88 According to Your kindness, sustain me, and I shall keep the testimony of Your mouth.
89 Forever, O Lord, Your word stands in the heavens.
90 Your faith is to every generation; You established the earth and it endures.
91 For Your judgments they stand today, for all are Your servants.
92 Were not Your Torah my occupation, then I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I shall never forget Your precepts for through them You have sustained me.
94 I am Yours; save me for I sought Your precepts.
95 Concerning me: the wicked hoped to destroy me; I shall ponder Your testimonies.
96 Of every finite thing I have seen the end; Your commandments are very broad.
I Corinthians 15:12-20
The Voice version
12 Now if we have told you about the Anointed One (how He has risen from the dead and appeared to us fully alive), then how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as resurrection from death? 13 Friends, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even the Anointed hasn’t been raised; 14 if that is so, then all our preaching has been for nothing and your faith in the message is worthless. 15 And what’s worse, all of us who have been preaching the gospel are now guilty of misrepresenting God because we have been spreading the news that He raised the Anointed One from the dead (which must be a lie if what you are saying about the dead not being raised is the truth). 16 Please listen.If you say, “the dead are not raised,” then what you are telling me is that the Anointed One has not been raised. Friends, 17 if the Anointed has not been raised from the dead, then your faith is worth less than yesterday’s garbage, you are all doomed in your sins, 18 and all the dearly departed who trusted in His liberation are left decaying in the ground. 19 If what we have hoped for in the Anointed doesn’t take us beyond this life, then we are world-class fools, deserving everyone’s pity.
20 But the Anointed One was raised from death’s slumber and is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.
Ecclesia Bible Society (2012-04-09). The Voice Bible, eBook: Step Into the Story of Scripture. Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
Quran Surah 3.33-41
Quran: A Simple English Translation
33 God chose Adam and Noah and the family of Abraham and the family of ‘Imran above all His creatures.
34 They are the offspring of one another. God hears all and knows all.
35 Remember when the wife of ‘Imran said, ‘My Lord, I have dedicated what is in my womb entirely to Your service. So accept this from me. You are the One who hears and knows all.’
36 When she gave birth, she said, ‘My Lord, I have given birth to a girl’— God knew very well what she had given birth to: a male is not like a female—‘ I have named her Mary and placed her and her children in Your protection from the rejected Satan.’
37 Her Lord graciously accepted her and made her grow in goodness and entrusted her to the care of Zachariah. Every time Zachariah visited her in her chamber he found some provision with her. He asked, ‘Mary, where did this provision come from?’ She replied, ‘This is from God. God provides for whoever He wills without measure.’
38 Thereupon Zachariah prayed to his Lord, saying, ‘Lord, grant me by Your own grace virtuous offspring. You are the hearer of all prayers.’
39 As he stood praying in the chamber, the angels called out to him, saying, ‘God gives you the good news of John, who shall confirm the Word from God, and [shall be] outstanding among men, and utterly chaste, and a prophet from among the righteous.’
40 ‘Lord,’ said Zachariah, ‘how shall I have a son when I am now overtaken by old age and my wife is barren?’ ‘Such is the will of God,’ replied [the angel], ‘He does what He pleases.’
41 He said, ‘My Lord, grant me a sign.’ [The angel] said, ‘Your sign is that you will not be able to speak to people for three days except by signs. Remember your Lord much and glorify Him morning and evening.’
Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin; Goodword (2013-12-11). Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword ! Koran) (Kindle Locations 914-924). Goodword Books. Kindle Edition.
Bhagavad Gita 3.22-26
In all the three worlds, Arjuna,
there is nothing I need to do,
nothing I must attain;
and yet I engage in action.
For if I were to refrain
from my tireless, continual action,
mankind would follow my example
and would also not act, Arjuna.
If I stopped acting, these worlds
would plunge into ruin;
chaos would overpower all beings;
mankind would be destroyed.
Though the unwise cling to their actions,
watching for results, the wise
are free of attachments, and act
for the well-being of the whole world.
The wise man does not unsettle
the minds of the ignorant; quietly
acting in the spirit of yoga,
he inspires them to do the same.
Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-18). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (Kindle Locations 511-518). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.