The last several weeks have been filled with world pain and hurt on a variety of levels. Political unrest and civilian protest in the Middle East and Africa, followed by the strikes in Wisconsin and now the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, have all made our seminary community more vigilant.
As strange as it sounds, my favorite moment in all of this was when my professor at the Chicago Theological School (the UCC seminary in the ACTS Consortium) began our Native American Religions and Traditions class by saying, "It's been a helluva week. Let's start with some quiet time." And we did. We sat in silence for maybe twenty minutes, with the lights off and a few candles burning. There was an intentional space to pray and reflect without having the confines of a vigil or worship service.
Sometimes, the church needs to respond with a worship service, which is what LSTC did on Tuesday night while I was in class. The church also needs to respond with acknowledgement of just how crappy the world is sometimes. It was really great to sit in silence with this group of classmates that I don't know very well, knowing that we were physically and emotionally exhausted by the pain of the world. I wasn't flipping to the next hymn or thinking about my candle burning out. I was able to be.
With that, I hope that your prayers and actions continue to care for God's creation. Sara Suginaka and Miho Yasukawa are working to make paper cranes and attach them to string to be sent to Japan around Easter as garlands of our prayers for them. Grab some paper and make a crane or write a prayer for Japan.
Picture from: http://scentedsoycandles.co.cc/images/soy_candles%203.jpg