Preached 2/9/2020 at SouthWest UU in N. Royalton OH
By Rev. Meg Mathieson
It’s been a tough week. It’s been a difficult month. Even for those of us whose lives are full of blessings, we can’t be truly happy if some of us are hurting. Last week, I talked about Ubuntu, the African idea about an intimate interconnection between all of us, and I think a lot of us have felt that interconnection deeply and acutely lately.
There is so much love and caring in this room and in this community. There is so much love here.
We are one human family, we are all so connected, and sometimes that makes us hurt. Sometimes being human is hurting. And it is also very human to run from pain. Thinking about Darwin and his revelation that we all come from one ancestor, that we are one human family regardless of how we appear. Sometimes I wonder if our ancestors - if my white, European ancestors - chose to believe that those who come from somewhere distant, those who looked different were not related - maybe that choice to turn to cruelty towards others came out of a fear. Not only the fear of the “other” which my colonizing ancestors certainly had, but just a raw fear of opening up, of loving, because love brings hurt.
Perhaps they hoped that by hurting others, by not caring about the feelings of their indentured servants, not caring about slaves, not caring about anyone outside of their own bubble, they were protecting their hearts.
I could see how that would be tempting, when having a loving heart can sometimes hurt so much. Belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every person is a bit of a liability for your heart.
What we have here is a community of love and support and caring and kindness, and it hurts sometimes when we love and care so very much. Compassion is a raw and vulnerable thing.
Compassion is also a priceless, holy thing. Like spokes on a wheel, the closer we get to compassion, the closer we get to one another.
We are all one connected human family. And you, you the individual you sitting right there, you are so very, very loved. And you, the SWUU community, you are loved as the sacred and beautiful community that you are.
We miss those we have lost, whether they are on the other side of the veil or just in another city or state. We grieve for our own losses and we grieve with those we love who are grieving, we feel for those who are hurting, we, this one human family, we create a space for worship because it is the thing we can do together. It is the way we can be proactive in the face of suffering.
Here is the proactive, helpful, strengthening thing that we can do. We come together, we feel, we love, we care. We release this caring, warm, high-vibrational energy to the unknown. The ether.
I have a book of prayers from many different faith traditions that I will read to you. Buddhist, Sikh, Christian, all different faith traditions. As you listen, feel free to close your eyes or keep them open, pray along with me or zone out, whatever helps you to listen better and hear more. We are actively doing something now. Something sacred and holy. We are sending healing love and light around the globe to warm and heal our one whole human family.