This is not the post that I had scheduled for this morning. This is not the first thing that I wrote this morning, either. I hope this post is what is needed right now, while I sort through the words I most want to share; words that are to raw, too blunt, to be exposed to the world just yet. Today, I offer a simple reflection; a prayer of a sort. It is what I can share.
Leaving the womb for the wide world must be a shock; I’ve witnessed a few births, and none of them seems painless, mush less euphoric. To be alive is to know stress. Human lives are complicated further by the fact that most of us, at some point, realize that we will die.
For many, this knowledge that there is a point in the not-to-distant future in which we will no longer be part of the world is a great pain. Some people are so desperate to leave a mark on the world before they go that they don’t even care if that mark is a scar. The only reaction that makes sense to me, though, is love. Love harder, love more, love like life itself depends on it.
The Rev. Dr Forrest Church said, as he faced terminal cancer, “Religion is our human response to the dual reality of being alive and having to die. Knowing we are going to die not only places an acknowledged limit upon our lives, it also gives a special intensity and poignancy to the time we are given to live and love.”
It was a tragedy that inspired the Standing on the Side of Love campaign. The Unitarian Universalist response to a tragedy in one of our own congregations was grief and fear and pain, but what we did with all of that, what lingers nine years later, is love. It is an organized, funded, and legally incorporated effort at harnessing love’s power to challenge exclusion, oppression, and violence. That is Unitarian Universalism at its best.
So, while today, I am hurting, I know that I am not alone, and I know that love is our answer. We each have only a few dozen years, at best, to leave our mark on the world. I take comfort in knowing that my participation in Unitarian Universalism means that my contributions will not be mine alone, and they will echo long after I have died. I trust that love will win, and that the world will slowly (but not unerringly) continue to be more just and more inclusive. The moral arc of the Universe is long, and I cannot see beyond the horizon, but I know that Humanity has always harnessed love to bend that arc towards justice.