"Amazing grace how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now am found
was blind, but now I see."
these words of a familiar hymn
speak to me anew today,
especially the last line:
"was blind, but now I see."
The past year 2020 put into focus
just how deep the blindness is.
The quarantine of COVID-19
reveals just how interdependent humans are:
from the contact tracing which showed our webs of connection
to global supply chains for goods,
including the materials to make, distribute, and actually give the vaccine shots
to the experience of isolation, despair, depression
from not being physically together
Fierce independence has always been a lie,
a turning from how you, Lord, made us for community.
May we never forget how much we NEED each other
in order to be fully ourselves.
The videos and images of racial violence
are tempting to shut my eyes against and
ignore as white men, like me, have done for generations.
Lord, it is a very real temptation every day.
Power and privilege are a murderous undertow in a sea of change.
I continue to pray for new eyes, new ears, new wisdom and new partnerships.
New eyes to really see the violence and systems
that men, like me, benefit from every day.
New ears to hear your call for change, for repentance and for reconcilliation.
New wisdom to know
how to act out justice,
how to embody steadfast covenant faithfulness, and
how to walk humbly.
New partnerships -- holy friendships with those who are different.
The political division, discord, and estrangement
exhibit my country's willingness
to tear the other down in order to win
no matter what destruction, shrapnel, permanent injury, and trauma remain.
Words matter and some wounds do not heal.
Lord, we are blind to who the other is
not an ideology, not an abstraction, not a nonliving political action committee,
but a person,
a child of God,
someone who is also the object of your affection,
the one you desire,
the one you think is worth your dying for.
we are so blind.
This Holy Week
shine your bright light.
Reveal to us the enormity of our sin.
Give us clarity of vision.
Laser focus our lives
in the sharp resolution of your redemption
so that we may turn from our destructive ways
and become repairs of the breach.
May it be so
in my life and in the life of the world
today and every day.
The above prayer was inspired by the text I received recently from my mother following her laser eye surgery. She wrote, "Laser eye surgery quick and successful. I can see!!!"