On the Event of Hate Induced Killing [A Prayer]

Good and gracious God,

Humanity’s inhumanity
to one another
is an all too present
historical reality.

What is it about
our humanity
that allows us to get
so caught up
in the differences in our
outward appearances
and practices
that we bracket out
the glaring actuality
that we are more alike
on the inside
than any outward differences
should ever be capable
of overcoming?

Hate is so consuming.
It consumes our thoughts.
It consumes our hearts.
It consumes our emotions.
It consumes our happiness.
It consumes our lives.
It can ultimately
consume the lives of others.

At some point
we all must admit
the role we play
in promoting
the hatred.

When we sit silently by
as politicians,
world leaders,
religious leaders,
talk radio personalities,
T.V.’s talking heads,
our neighbors,
a stranger,
or even our relatives
speak poorly of another group –
be it a joke,
a bias,
an effort to withhold rights,
an offhanded derogatory remark,
a stereotype,
or anything that sets
someone different from them
up as “other,”
undeserving –
we passively participate
in promoting the hate.

Teach us all
to value “other.”
Teach us all
that those we label “other”
are always more
similar to us
than different.
Teach us
that in relationship
with those we may currently
see as “other,”
we will begin to learn
to delight in our
and to find joy
in the way
our differences
can inspire
us each to grow.

Most importantly,
may we be reminded
and understand deeply
in our souls
that not only are we
the keepers of
our brothers and sisters…
we are their teachers…
and they are ours.

May we see each other
as a gift.
May we see individuals
as a unique opportunity
to expand the
love and knowledge we have
and to expand our experience
of find you in “others.”


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