Prayer Jun 18

Dear world of all color -- the yellows and reds of blossoms, the bountiful green of plant life in June in our hemisphere, the blue sky and orange sunset, the ultraviolet that we humans cannot see but many birds and some mammals can, and the infrared that some other animals can sense – and all the beiges, tans, olives, pinks, browns, ebonies, bisques and alabasters of human skin -- dear world of colorful people, colorful languages, colorful cultures, colorful beings:

We breathe in to breathe in a new day. We hear birds singing, and see the squirrels frisk and chatter. We are swimming in mystery; floating in beauty – even as we also bear the burdens of pain, of loss, grief, and tragedy.

As the water recedes in Lake Powell, the second-largest US reservoir, we know the water shortage is impinging on many lives even as the falling water level reveals a beauty of deep red-rock canyons and other-worldly arches. Beauty and tragedy forever blend and mesh.

Our hearts go out to people of the Philippines where the Mount Mayon volcano has made nearly 13,000 evacuated their homes. Our hearts go out to persecuted religious minorities throughout the world. In Pakistan more than 50 non Muslims are currently incarcerated, some facing execution under the countries Blasphemy Laws. Elsewhere, it is Muslims who face suspicion, hostility, or worse.

May we remember that we all belong to one another. May we be advocates of the powerful truth of inclusive love – and may we thus enhance the color of the world.

Our hearts go out to the four Indigenous children who survived 40 days in the Amazon jungle in Colombia after their plane crashed, and to the military and Indigenous communities who worked jointly to find them.

Our hearts rise in hope as we learn that Australia has taken the step of making consent education mandatory in all schools from Kindergarten to High School. We are grateful for the work of Chanel Contos who started the campaign for public schools to teach the need that sexual relations have affirmative consent. May we all embrace the variety of colors that permeate our world, and may no one be embraced against their will.

May we see one another with loving eyes and an open heart.

Our hearts go out to the migrants drowned Wednesday when an overloaded boat capsized in open Mediterranean waters off Greece. Hundreds are dead or feared dead as about 750 people were believed to be on the boat.

Our hearts are troubled by the news that Russian nuclear weapons have been moved to Belarus – and that the United States has sent a nuclear-powered guided-missile submarine to South Korea in a show of force.

May our hopes for peace and justice give us courage to make it so. May we delight always in what is good, confront what is cruel, and heal what is broken. Amen.

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