Archives for posts with tag: Unitarian Universalism

I am the adventurous child that feels safe enough in the world to climb over a fence and into the world of a caged gorilla at the zoo.


I am the gorilla that reacts with instincts that are at once tender and frightened.


I am the zookeeper that must respond quickly, with their best judgment, to the unfolding drama, in a way that serves the highest good.


I am the sharp shooter that pulls the trigger and releases the bullet that ends the gorilla’s life.


I am the parent of the adventurous child that clutches their racing heart and holds their churning stomach.


I am the bystander in the crowd that screams in fright and dismay, unable to look away.


I am the adventurous child that looks into the eyes of the gorilla and then feels their self being lifted, tossed, and dragged – their flesh being scraped and torn.


I am the gorilla that feels the flashing pain of a piercing bullet and feels the life force drain out of their body.


I am the parent of the child that watches, helplessly.


I am the zookeeper that must live with the consequences of their decision, being forever more questioned, and even reviled for their gut-wrenching choice.


I am the child whose life is now marked by a terror no one else will ever understand.


I am the parent whose life is now marked by a terror and a guilt no one else will ever understand, a parent whose life is now marked by public scorn.


I am the bystander that now must make sense of what I have witnessed.


I am the member of the public at large that now must wrestle with moral and ethical issues I had not considered before, issues of valuing one life over another, issues of freedom and individual agency, issues of responsibility for and protection of those entrusted to our care.


I am the person whose heart is broken open by a tragedy beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.


I am the person that rushes to judgment and finds some comfort in assigning blame.


I am the person that must live in this world where there are no easy answers, where people just like me are called to respond to circumstances that I have only visited in my worst nightmares.


I am the person that finds within myself a capacity for compassion and an embrace for ambiguity that stretches me into the fullness of what it means to be human.




IMG_7299Come to the well, my love.

Make a cup of your hands.

Scoop up handfuls of liquid silver

shimmering with the sun’s each ray.

Let the coolness

slide down your weary palms and wrists

drenching your arms in gladness.

Let water touch your lips

like the moist kiss of a lover

quenching your parched and lonely

desert soul

where seeds long to be watered.

Taste the sweetness of hope

blossoming on your tongue

singing songs of wonder

speaking words of praise.

Let this sacred wellspring

fill you to the tips of your wiggling toes

dancing on holy ground.

Know this place as your own

your birthright

a divine grace

freely given.

Protect it as if

your life depends on it.

Keep it as pure

as the driven white snows of winter

sparkling as the fragile faith of spring.

For wells can become bitter waters

steeped in poisonous leaves

of petty concerns.

You will know them by their colors:

green envy

yellow cowardice

blood red hatred

the seductive purple of gossip.

If you taste these

spit them out.

Contaminated waters

erode trust

tarnish the truth

rust what is good

destroy what is life giving.

Come to the well of life, my love.

Living waters move

in your blood

the same self stuff as mine.

A sacred trust

whose guardians are named









Come to the well, my love.

Let us be nourished.



Spirit of Life, Spirit of Love, Nameless One of Many Names, whom I humbly dare to name as God –

O, God of our mixed up and tragic world: hear our prayer. The pain of the world is too much with us. We seek to understand the invisible and silent suffering of those, who like Robin Williams and countless others, find life unbearable. Help us to remember that everyone we meet may be carrying a burden we cannot see. When oceans of tears are not enough to wash away our sorrow, comfort us with the sweet balm of forgiveness. When the fog of confusion will not lift, guide us in the ways of reason and compassion.

O, God of our torn and broken world: hear our lamentation. When volcanoes of rage are not enough to stop the gunning down of young black men by police who are caught in systems of militarization and unconscious racism, direct the fires of our passion into actions that heal, not harm. When we are frozen by fear, warm our weary bones with the courage of our convictions.

O, God of our warring and fractious world: hear our plea. Help us to feel the common humanity of our global brothers and sisters — siblings who live in the ominous shadow of warfare. When religious minorities are persecuted harshly, embolden us as kindred spirits to stand firmly with them on the side of love.

O, God of our fragile and beautiful world: hear our hope. Awaken us to the miracle of life. Open our hearts to the wonders and mysteries of our eternal universe. Shake us from our unthinking habits of mindless consumption. Remind us to touch the earth with thanksgiving and reverence.

O, God of our compassionate hearts: hear our intention. In our time of shared silence, may we be filled with loving kindness.