That is the Klingon word for Success! or Eureka! I use it not because I have had an epiphany or success of sorts but because one of my friend's spouse knows Klingon and it is the only Klingon word I have memorized. And so, Kaplah, Matt!
Last week, at our United Methodist Annual Conference, we had a person who needed an ASL interpreter. The conference coordinators set up screens that did auto-interpreting (software that automatically generates words being said) and had one interpreter accompanying this beloved soul all weekend long. Props to that interpreter. That is intense.
Sunday, during my ordination, I noticed that the ordinands were all lined up in front of the screens and that the interpreter was nowhere to be seen. I got to see the screen first hand. It was hilarious to me but would be frustrating to someone seeing the screens as their only way of communication.
Then my bestie, Jane, who speaks ASL told me what happened later. Our conference office dismissed the interpreters at 11:00 a.m. That is about when the ordination service started. Additionally, to accommodate this beloved soul, they sat him by himself right near the ordinands so he could see the screen. Jane, who had been watching the situation all weekend long, spoke with him.
I would bet dollars to donuts that Jane is nearly the only person who spoke with him in his own language all weekend long. Bad on us. And bad on the conference for exhausting their interpreter and sending them home before the conference was ended.
What does it mean to be greeted in your own language? It isn’t something I worry about. But for the thousands of immigrants and those such as our beloved soul here, it must be destabilizing. Perhaps our job, if we are in the dominant culture, is to offer a stabilizing hand such as a common greeting. An effort on our part to move out of the center or to make the center bigger so that it includes more people.
What do you think? What are practical ways we can become more hospitable to the beloved souls unknown to us? Ways even beyond Kaplah!
Today's practice brings us music from Beyoncé, a blessing from John O’Donohue, wisdom from Lucy Christopher, and a photo from Stephen Bugno at flickr.com. Along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Buddhist tradition. And as always, we have our BIBOLOVE practice from Soyinka Rahim. (BIBO = Breathe In, Breathe Out).
PS: Yesterday, I made a RoadTrip CrowdSource playlist on Spotify. It is available to all to listen to. And! It is marked as a community collaboration, so feel free to add your essential Road Trip songs to it. Just for funsies.
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 Was Here by Beyoncé
I just want them to know
That I gave my all, did my best
Brought someone to happiness
Left this world a little better just because
For Presence by John O'Donohue
Awaken to the mystery of being here
and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.
Have joy and peace in the temple of your senses.
Receive encouragement when new frontiers beckon.
Respond to the call of your gift and the courage to follow its path.
Let the flame of anger free you of all falsity.
May warmth of heart keep your presence aflame.
May anxiety never linger about you.
May your outer dignity mirror an inner dignity of soul.
Take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.
Be consoled in the secret symmetry of your soul.
May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.
O'Donohue, John. To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings (pp. 42-43). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.
Jewish Daily Reading: Daily Study from Chabad
Christian Daily Reading: Revised Common Lectionary Daily Reading
Muslim Daily Reading: Daily Verse from The Only Quran
Buddhist Daily Reading: Daily Zen
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know!
“And it's hard to hate someone once you understand them.”
― Lucy Christopher
I will be taking the weekly prayer from the World Council of Churches rather than writing a new prayer daily. At this point, we know the world needs to be surrounded with prayer and positive thought. This allows us to work through the world country by country. I know it is not de rigeur to have repetitive content, but I believe that these prayers deserve to be repeated.
Focus countries: Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay
Let us pray.
We know that we fail to live up to being makers of peace. Let us bring in rather than push out, be invitational rather than confrontational--seeing signs of life while decrying the desecration of hope.
For signs of hope and peace, we pray for
People who who participate in local communities of faith,
leaders who continue to nurture the people,
and instructors who educate and nurture the leaders.
Composers and poets who have brought new songs to the
people to give them hope of a better future.
Leaders who take courageous stands on behalf of their people.
For the oppressed and weary, we pray for
Families and friends of those who were murdered or disappeared in Argentina and Uruguay.
Guidance to those in the government of Paraguay
as they work to remove corruption and
bring justice to those who have abused power.
Those who experience poverty and struggle for daily bread,
who live without security, safety and shelter.
Those who must live far from their families and homes
in order to make a living and provide for their families.
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.