The Storm

The Great Wave off Kanagawa -- Hokusai

The Great Wave off Kanagawa — Hokusai

And once the storm is over
You won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.
You won’t even be sure, in fact, that the storm is over.
But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm,
You won’t be the same person who walked in.
That’s what this storm is all about.

Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (translated by Philip Gabriel)

UU Lent – Day 39 – Mercy

“The quality of mercy is not strained.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest. It becomes
The thronèd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings,
But mercy is above this sceptered sway.
It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself.
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this-
That in the course of justice none of us
Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy,
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea,
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence ‘gainst the merchant there” – Portia – Act 4: Scene 1 Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Seeking Mercy, Seeking Home by Erika A. Hewitt

Access Litany Prayer: A Responsive Reading by Bonnie Vegiard

Unexpected Sources of Liberation

During this time of social distancing and quarantine we have all been forced to wrestle with more than just a global pandemic. We have been told to look for silver linings. One of those silver linings is in spending more time with ourselves we are faced with our challenges and struggles.

Alanis Morissette’s song, “Thank U”, functions like a gratitude prayer to the many unexpected sources of liberation in her life.

Perhaps we can use this time to examine our challenges and be thankful for them. In our gratitude, maybe we can set ourselves free.

UU Lent 2020 – Day 38 – Awe

Give yourself a gift of five minutes of contemplation in awe of everything you see around you. Go outside and turn your attention to the many miracles around you. This five-minute-a-day regimen of appreciation and gratitude will help you to focus your life in awe. – Wayne Dyer

And if a person is religious, I think it’s good, it helps you a bit. But if you’re not, at least you can have the sense that there is a condition inside you which looks at the stars with amazement and awe. – Maya Angelou

I don’t think that faith, whatever you’re being faithful about, really can be scientifically explained. And I don’t want to explain this whole life business through truth, science. There’s so much mystery. There’s so much awe. – Jane Goodall

Psalm 23 for This Moment by Kevin Tarsa

The Cycle That Connects Us by Molly Housh Gordon and Jamila Batchelder

UU Lent 2020 – Day 36 – Confession

According to the dictionary confession means: 1) a formal statement admitting that one is guilty of a crime, 2) an admission or acknowledgment that one has done something that one is ashamed or embarrassed about, 3) intimate revelations about a person’s private life or occupation, especially as presented in a sensationalized form in a book, newspaper, or movie, and 4) a statement of one’s principles.

Confessing Communities by Robin Tanner