Thank you! This is what I and my husband pray to God before going to sleep every night. It is a simple prayer, a reminder to us to be grateful for even the smallest of things. Our world today is up side down and often there are little reasons to see things to be appreciative of. I get it! But I also know, and yes, there’s that word, “but”…… I have the opportunity on any given day that is presented to me to be a positive force in this world. On any given day, I can raise my voice to call out hate. On any given day, I can write a letter to representatives to call out senseless gun violence. On any given day, I can choose to love my neighbor as myself. On any given day, I can choose to make a difference to build a better world. For that, we say “thank you”.
Today, say a simple prayer of “thank you”, to your Creator. Now go and bring peace to a place that so desperately needs it. They are waiting on you!
On this Sunday, July 4th, it is rather quiet on my street. Families have left for vacation, many at the beach and I am loving the quietness. Sitting down to graham crackers with a slice of banana and a cup of tea, smiling to myself like I am getting away with something. This moment, this quiet, feels so peaceful. Should not I be waiting on some disturbance to blast from out of space and shake me to my core? No! This wonderful quietness is a blessed gift. This sweet, and holy quietness is to be treasured, so I will hold on to this fragrance as long as possible. In fact, let me share some of this quiet peace with you, my friend.
Find a quiet corner for yourself and sit. It does not require a chair, sitting on the floor will be just fine, but just make sure you can get up when it’s time. These old bones ain’t what they use to be. Bring a cup of tea with you if you like, along with some butter cookies. Sit and think about all the amazing and wonderful things you have accomplished. Things like teaching a child how to tie their shoes; making a holiday meal for your entire family; learning all the words to your favorite song and performing it at the karaoke bar; saying just the right words to encourage someone; waking up this morning and seeing possibilities that are endless. In your quiet corner, you notice how amazing you are. In your quiet corner, you see how powerful you can be. In your quiet corner, you discover there is a peace that shines within you. In your quiet corner, there is your Creator sitting next to you and applauding you for realizing everything you need is already within you.
Treasure time with YOU today. YOU are so worth it!
There is this song that I keep hearing in my head. It’s an old hymn sung in many black traditional churches in the South during the Jim Crow era. When I hear this song, I see the old but strong men sitting in the deacon corner and the women dressed in their white, as they prepare the table for the Lord’s Supper. I see courage in their eyes and an unbreakable spirit. I have been carrying this song in my spirit almost every day. I’m so glad that I am hearing it because it reminds me to stay in the fight for justice and freedom. This song reminds me to never give up and to never back down. You may not be a religious or spiritual person or even believe in a power that is greater than you. But I hope you have someone, a friend, your spouse, your pet, someone who loves you unconditionally that will walk with you through these troubling times. This is what I hear:
“I want Jesus to walk with me. I want Jesus to walk with me. All along my pilgrim journey, Lord I want Jesus to walk with me. In my trials, Lord, walk with me. In my trials, Lord, walk with me. When my heart is almost breaking, Lord I want Jesus to walk with me. When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me. When I’m in trouble, Lord, walk with me. When my head is bowed in sorrow, Lord I want Jesus to walk with me. (J. Jefferson Cleveland, 1937- Verolga Nix, 1933)
Peace starts within. Peace cannot be found in material things. Peace cannot be found in the most splendid of a vacation, though I must say, it would be nice to relax on a lovely island right about now. Sorry, I digress. Peace is the ultimate gift that some will go to the end of the earth to search for but will not find it. Peace is what we are all wanting to experience during this time in our history. Would you be surprise to know that this peace that I speak of already resides in you? Yes, in you! If you have taken a yoga class or participated in meditating, the first thing you learn is to how to breathe, close your eyes and become aware of your breath. Yes, your breath. There is this soothing sensation that as you are experiencing your breath for the first time it is like your being is aware that your presence on this earth has a purpose. Your being on this earth is required for others to breathe, for others to find peace.
Before he was murdered, Jesus prepared his disciples for what they were about to experience. He tells them, “Peace I leave with you; then almost at a second thought, as to say no, that’s not enough, he then says, “my peace I give to you.” For someone knowing he is about to be murdered, Jesus turns inwardly and blesses those whom he loved. I believe as George Floyd breathe his last breath, he too, by calling out to his mother, turns inwardly and offers his peace to those whom he loved.
Imagine a world that speaks peace before a weapon is raised. Imagine a world that breathes out peace instead of greed. Imagine the world breathing in unison, aware of our collective breaths being present to give instead of take. Imagine the earth renewing herself, because we breathe life into her. Imagine a world that realizes our collective peace have the power to heal the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked. Yes, our peace, this peace which is a gift from God. This kind of peace you cannot get from the world. It’s impossible. In fact Jesus says to his disciples, “I do not give to you as the world gives.” This kind of peace is already in you.
So today, take a moment, close your eyes, breathe peace into your space, then breathe peace out in the world. Let’s make this place better. God is depending on me and you! Let’s not let her down!