This Week's Prayer
The Christian scriptures include a parable in which the personification of love speaks to the people of compassion and says to them: "I was hungry and you gave me food. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me. I was naked and you gave me clothing. I was sick and you took care of me. I was in prison and you visited me."
The people of compassion are puzzled and ask Love: "When was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?"
Love answers, "Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me" (Matt 25:31-40).
Thus the people of compassion inherit a kingdom -- a kin-dom, a connectedness, a one-ness and a wholeness -- prepared for them from the foundation of the world. This is not a reward given in return for goodness. Rather, acts of compassion ARE the connectedness and realize the wholeness. The compassion IS the kin-dom.
Dear Love, the United Nations first warned over a year ago that more people around the world had been forcibly displaced than at any time since World War II. That figure has since risen from 51 million people to almost 60 million. Over half the world’s refugees have been in exile for at least five years, many in closed refugee camps where they do not have the right to work or move freely. Others cross the Mediterranean in inadequate and overloaded crafts.
They come from Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Bangladesh, Gambia, and other lands.
Thousands have drowned, or otherwise died.
They are driven into danger of losing their lives and their children's lives, driven from the homes they have known because their homelands lack safety, lack opportunity, lack basic life essentials, lack food or water, lack political representation, lack uncorrupted leadership.
Many flee persecution. They all flee in order to survive, even when threats to survival fall outside standard definitions of “persecution.”
May we commit to true concern and respect for those who have been getting neither.
Last week the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and the Unitarian Universalist Association launched a special Refugee Crisis fund, along with a petition drive asking the Obama administration to raise the number of refugees admitted into the US to 200,000. May we contribute to both of those efforts.
May we also examine the ways our country’s policies contribute to the conditions that create refugees.
Dear Love, may we be among the people of compassion.