MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS

©REV. LOIS E. VAN LEER

In Times of Despair I Am Convinced

For I am convinced,
that neither death
(Orlando)
nor life
(the survivors)
nor angels
(the ones who took to wings at the funerals to counteract the Westboro Church’s presence)
nor rulers
(go on, name them)
nor things present
(homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, racism, hatred, fear, violence- genital body checks at the restroom doors)
nor things to come
(Trump- really?)
nor powers
(the lawbreakers who masquerade as law makers
violators of human worth and dignity)
nor height
(our collective grief rage despair raised up)
nor depth
(our collective grief rage despair laid down)
nor anything else in all creation
(use your imagination, fill in the blank here)
will be able to separate us from
Love.

Nothing. 
I am convinced.


First Corinthians 13 Redux

If we rage self-righteously for justice but have no grounding in what is ultimate, then we are but a swarming hive of sound that stings and deafens the human soul.

And if we batter and barrage others who think differently from us with our one and only truth, then we have not truth but tyranny.

If we write checks for this cause and that one but never greet the stranger in our midst then our words and deeds are hollow.

If we live only in ideas and theory and have not the heart of compassion than we live half alive.

 


For the People of Oso, Washington After the Mudslide

Prayer: a petition, a plea, a conversation, a deep listening, a release, a safe place, silence. There is nothing that cannot be brought to prayer. When I use the word prayer, I use it to talk about the intentional lifting up of a person, place or being before the universe or Mystery. So this morning, I ask you to join me in lifting up the people of Oso.

 

We lift up those who been forever lost

Those whose whereabouts are still unknown

Those left with the uncertainty

Those who grieve

 

We lift up the rescuers, professional and volunteer

who work tirelessly to recover bodies

who clear and move the debris

who begin to repair

Clergy who accompany those who know despair

Those who have made food for the responders

Those who have offered money

All those who want to help

 

We lift up the media that has respected the families privacy

and we lift of the media that has speculated why anyone would build a home where an earlier mudslide gave warning as if to blame the victims

May we all learn to come to terms with the unfathomable without looking for someone to blame

May we each take a breath and be reminded of how precious and uncertain life is

 

We lift up those who face the task of rebuilding their lives

Those who will go on with entire family structures reshaped

Those who will try to stay and those who will decide to leave

 

May those who have been affected by the mudslide find healing and comfort.

May those whose lives have been lost be carried on in the stories their friends and family tell about them.

May the land and the river themselves, find peace.

 

To all of the people lost and alive in Oso,

You are not alone.


Prayer for the Bioneers Conference

We hold as sacred the stars that we are made of

We hold as sacred the interplay of sun and moon, light and warmth

We hold as sacred the depth of night and breaking of each day

We hold as sacred the rain, rivers, oceans, streams, ponds, lakes- all the waters of creation

We hold as sacred the wind and breezes, all the air that life breathes

We hold as sacred the forests whose trees mark time

We hold as sacred the mountains and rocks and stone, sculpted and shaped by elemental, primal forces

We hold as sacred the animal companions of the earth, water and air with whom we share this world

We hold as sacred each footstep taken in the pursuit not of one truth but of many truths

We hold as sacred the Great Mysteries of life

 

And we hold as sacred the gift and responsibility for stewardship of this precious creation.


Words for a Community

We come from the east

We come from the south

We come from the west

We come from the north

 

We come from the mountains

We come from the plains

We come from the rivers

We come from the valleys

We come from the deserts

We come from the oceans

 

We come from the heart

We come from the spirit

We come from the mind

We come from the soul

Seeking return to a place

As yet, only imagined

 

We come

Some rooted in tradition

Some shying away from a tenacious hold

Some weighted under heavy baggage

 

Wanting to be born anew

 fresh slates

 chalking a new vision

 

We come

bearers of dreams, hope, pain, gifts

bearers of tales, myths, and legends

 

Pagan, Christian, Atheist, Seeker, Jew, Theist, Buddhist, Panentheist, Humanist, Mystic, Indigenous, Unnamed- All:

 

Rivers winding, searching out the sea

Cutting their way along banks and distant shores still wild.

 

Tell us your story

That we may hear beyond your words

 

Know that the beating and trembling of your heart

Echoes in each of ours

 

We will hold the mirror for you asking

That you do the same for us

Sure that in the mass of images

Something larger is reflected

Drawing us to all that was and is and will be.

 

What we spin and what we weave,

(each one of us the weaver,

each one of us the thread,)

wraps us round each other-

 

We are.


Lullabye

Dusk to dawn

may you be held in the arms

of sweet mystery.

Wish once upon the first star

give yourself over

dream to dream

tended by night angels

who bless the world

while you find blessed rest

till day wakes us again.