Thank you for gathering us together as citizens of this nation. We give thanks for each person here, for their work, for their thoughts, feelings and words, but especially for the gift of themselves. Sometimes we forget that we each have a story, a life, struggles and joys not always seen. Help us as we work side by side to serve this country, and to truly see and connect to each other, heart to heart. We are more than what we do, even when it is good and meaningful work. Help us to see the fullness of each person gathered here. Help us to see how each person that make up this beautiful nation is a blessing, and help us bless those who come to this nation seeking a home. May you bless our work, bless our time, and truly bless each person here to realize that each life is a blessing just simply for being. May we realize this blessing as we walk shoulder to shoulder with one another.
In Your Holy Name We Pray. Amen.
[Today marks 28 years of my family being in the U.S. We immigrated from South Korea to Asheville, NC on Nov. 6, 1989, and became citizens in 1994.]
Hear how this prayer travelled to be used elsewhere, and hopefully touched at least one person for the better.
Thank you for your openness and honesty about how overwhelmed you feel recently with all the new transitions in your life, sometimes even through the good changes. You asked me how I get through change, when I feel overwhelmed? There’s no one shot answer to this I am afraid, but maintaining a regular practice of prayer and meditation has helped me be present to my life, when I feel overwhelmed by changes I associate as being positive, and changes I deem as being negative; I’ll clarify what I mean by positive and negative change later on.
It’s hard not to give into that feeling of busyness, and finding balance between time with God, family, and work. I often make mistakes, but some days I am able to remember through out the day that God is with me through all my ups and downs. We’re only human. It often helps me to start my day reaching out to God, and just sitting still and being quiet. Contemplative prayer traditions have been really helpful, and I also learn from our Buddhist friends who have also a deep and rich contemplative practices, but centering prayer is something that I’ve found helpful in our own Christian tradition.
Even good things in life can become overwhelming like getting married, expecting a baby, learning to be parent, or adjusting to a new job. All in all, it’s helpful when I make time to be still and know God is with me, and God loves me as I am. Never forget that you are a Beloved Child of God.
Blessings to you and your family,
Your Friend on this Journey of Life
beloved, I am not worthy of your love, and yet you love me. I cringe before the light of your love, because I have been lost in darkness so lost. i seek your face, and yet run when you turn towards me. my words are all for vain, because they do no justice to the deep longing i feel; i am completely lost without your love. your love gives me wholeness and purpose, and yet i am afraid to completely rest in you. i am a child of chaos, and sometimes the emptiness and darkness feels more normal than the safety and warmth of your love. help me be content with being at peace, instead of jumping into the abyss. i am not worthy of your love, but time and time again you embrace me over and over. your forgiveness and grace flows abundantly towards me and every wayward child. i keep hearing echoes of your voice, “if you want to get to know me, get to know my kids.” your children like me are not always likable; they sneer, lie, and break each others hurt over and over. every time i want to run, you call me back home to you. you tell me to trust, love, forgive, and then pass on how you love me to the rest of your kids. maybe this time, i’ll finally listen. this time i will stay in your embrace, and learn to love as you love. thank you for your love, and i hope to love those who think unworthy of your love.
Dear Spiritual Friend,
It’s easy to be grateful, when everything in life is going your way. It’s often more difficult to be grateful and keep walking the spiritual path, when people, places and things all seem to work against you.
Most of us want to be happy, and it’s pretty difficult to be happy when we have relationships that disturb and rob us of peace and serenity. Often the most difficult people in our life are the ones that we’re the closest to from family members, children, friends, co-workers, spouse, ex-spouse and etc. Most of us do not loose sleep over a random interaction with a stranger we met briefly on the bus, but we may replay our last conversation with a loved one before they died, or when a relationships became broken and never the same again.
These moments seem to be forever etched in our memories, and especially into our hearts. They linger long past the actual events and circumstances have passed. I have no pithy wise words to share with you, but a simple prayer that has helped me get through these rough moments. A friend told me once that he prays “Bless them, change me,” when he encounters difficult people in his life. I too try to pray this prayer instead of praying that can be broken down to the essence of “F them, bless me.”
I hope to write to you more, but in the mean time, I wish you the best on your journey.
In the Light,