Last week Rev. Becky took part in Interfaith MInistries’ Covid Vigil. The text of her prayer is below, and you can watch the recording here. Becky’s piece begins @27.30.
In my faith tradition we have a simple hymn, the sole words of which are “when I breathe in, I breathe in peace; when I breathe out, I breathe out love.”
Breath. Breath is holy. Ruach, pneuma, prana, chi – almost every religious tradition equates breath with the animating spirit of the divine. Breath is what gives us life.
Science tells us that because of the way air moves, sooner or later we all – all human beings – breath the same air; that we who are alive today breathe air now that passed through Buddha’s lungs, passed through Christ’s lungs, through Clara Barton’s and Frederick Douglas’ lungs. All human beings on earth are part of one vast holy communion of breath.
When we inhale and exhale, we live the truth of our interdependence, how inextricably our destines are linked. Inhale, exhale. Respire. Conspire – together.
Respire, conspire, together, so that we might be inspired, find hope in this time. In this time when breath is compromised by a virulent virus that attacks the lungs, cutting short the life of its sufferers, denying and deferring plans and dreams for our youth, constricting our common life for all. In this time when we also must confess, confront the truth, that breath has been compromised for far, far too many for far, far too long – centuries really – by a virus of another sort, a virus which has suffocated and is suffocating its sufferers, killing, cutting short lives, denying dreams, destroying the life of communities.
Breath. Breath is holy. All human beings are part of one vast holy communion of breath. Living that truth, acting on that truth, working to eradicate whatever suppresses, represses, oppresses the animating spirit of the divine within us all so that all might truly at last breathe free. That is where we will find our hope in this troubling time.
Breathe in peace. Breathe out love. Oh, may we work to make it so – for us all.
(Amen and blessed be.)