In Memoriam

PoppyandFlag

On this day for those who gave their ultimate,
May we honor their gift, respect their bravery,
And continue to uphold all that which they
Selflessly secured.

May we continue to keep safe the place to kneel in protest
For that which needs to be understood,
for that which needs mending.

May we continue to honor the water of our land and
Keep safe its flow of life and those who stand strong against
The tide of greed and destruction and hatred.

May we beat our weapons into plowshares so our
Children are safe wherever they may wander,
Hold dear to all life without profile of
Spirit, race, age, or endowment.

May we open our arms to those who reach to us
For compassion, aid, and make room for lives and families
Who are weary and seek rest, safety,
But also bear their own gifts to share
Being perfectly created as are we.

On this day may we champion and honor
Those we remember for their duty and sacrifice,
Through our benevolence and humility,
Through our gratitude and joy, through our tolerance,
And in our love, care, and compassion toward all beings,
Creatures, plants, and all matter and elements.

Amen. Amen. Amen.

 “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Today

I feel the need today to open our hearts.

Yes, that means sacrifice. But understanding we are all in this together, that we are all created by One, makes me think that the way we have handled things isn’t working. The more we think we are “right” and fight to be “right” and to keep the stuff we’ve sold our souls to prove we are “right”, we strangle our ability to see each other as sisters and brothers.

I have a dear friend whose daughter lives in Israel and is running to bomb shelters at least twice a day. I have Palestinian friends with family also seeking shelter daily. All the while both sides are fighting because each side thinks they are “right.”

I’ve had children in my school who came to this country with their families seeking refuge from the horrors of their homeland. I think of my grandparents, one set from Poland, the other Yugoslavia, coming to America to escape war, hunger, and fear. Today, these children crossing our borders don’t care about being “right,” they want to be safe.

What is the poem on the base of our Statue of Liberty? The New Colossus is a sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

I read a quote recently reminding me that Jesus started out as a child in exile. He asked of us one thing.

          But remember the root command: Love one another.”
                                                                      (John 15:9-16)

Love one another. Three simple words, but, oh, so hard to do. That means not to judge or condemn, explaining in case we needed the explanation. Just love one another. Period.

I wonder about why we always turn to war as the answer. Wasn’t it Einstein who said the definition of insanity is always doing what you’ve always done and expect something to change?

Maybe I’m naive and simple minded. Yes, it means letting go of ego and the physical stuff that the ego gorges on. But maybe, just maybe, if we stop focusing on that ego, we could see more clearly what we are doing not only to the souls who walk this earth, but Mother Earth herself.

Love one another. I wish we could just try it for a day and see what happens.

We can start. That’s how change happens. One person at a time, and that person is our self. Start there. Just one day? Not loving the “stuff” that defines us, but the Spirit that resides in each of us, no matter what we name the Spirit, it’s One and the Same.

At our end that’s all that will matter – our self. Not the stuff. So let’s one day take care of that beautiful soul that is us and recognize and uplift and care for It in others, too. Maybe, just maybe it will catch on.