Common Ground


In these days when political correctness is not politically correct …
When pundits talk of two sides in their own bubbles …
When we are so reticent to share what we believe, concerned that things we say not hurt or offend someone else …
In these days of polarization …
Is there no common ground?

Is not the common ground tolerance and understanding?
Is not the common ground justice and equality for all?
Is not the common ground abhorrence of hate and embrace of love?

Once upon a time, a year or so ago,
I thought there was a wide, beautiful river of common ground
running through our hearts, our world.
I yearn for that time before I saw
the truth of what we have become.

God, have mercy on us
and give us wisdom and compassion.
God, have mercy on us
and give us courage to speak truth and act for justice.
God, have mercy on us
and show us the way to redemption.

Hate, Emboldened

Hate, emboldened,
Steps out of a closet,
Packs a suitcase,
And drives to Virginia.

Hate, emboldened,
Does not feel the need
To cover up with hoods or robes.

Hate, emboldened,
Marches in the light of day,
And illuminates the night
With torches and spotlights.

Hate, emboldened
By “free speech”
And “take back what is ours.”

Hate, encouraged by anger,
By fear, by prejudice.

Hate, empowered by the silence
Of political leaders,
Of church leaders,
Of ordinary people
Like me.

Rise up, voices of truth,
Voices of light,
Voices of courage.
Embolden Love.

Victory Is Ours

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I saw fear work its dark magic,
swirling into corners,
creeping through
cracks of doubt and uncertainty.

I saw its disabling effect …
confusion, division,
the disabling of
the previously strong and prophetic.

What has happened to us,
that we can be brought low,
immobilized by terror?

I went to sleep, exhausted,
hung over by the effects of
fear’s noxious fumes.

But I woke up
with the words of Desmond Tutu
in my heart and on my lips.

Good is stronger than evil;
love is stronger than hate;
light is stronger than darkness;
life is stronger than death.
Victory is ours,
through him who loves us.
– Desmond Tutu

God of Love. May it be so.
Help us, heal us,
fill us, use us.

Amen.