Our community group this year is listening to various podcasts and focusing on the meditation and reflection sparked by those podcasts. If you’d like to follow along with us, you can check out my notes here on the blog each week.
This is our week to pause from our podcasts and spend some time in other forms of meditation and reflection. In the past we’ve used the liturgies by the Liturgists since they make it so easy for us. But this week I went in search of something else. Unable to find something that felt like a good fit this week, I decided to make my own.
First we each chose a marginalized or oppressed group or person, someone different than ourselves.
- Native American
- Differently Abled
- Some intersection of these or other marginalized groups
Then we read a section of Psalm 27 aloud and attempted to hear the passage through the eyes and ears of the group or person we had selected. How might someone in that marginalized group hear or pray this passage? What might they be thinking as it’s read? What images, thoughts, feelings might come to mind for them? How does it sound? How do you hear it differently? How would they hear it right now, this week, in particular?
The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock.
Our church decided that our collective theme for the year is going to be the word “brave.” In light of that and our desire to speak up for those groups that we just held space for in our reading of Psalm 27, we read through this quote by Audre Lorde:
“I was going to die, sooner or later, whether or not I had even spoken myself. My silences had not protected me. Your silences will not protect you…. What are the words you do not yet have? What are the tyrannies you swallow day by day and attempt to make your own, until you will sicken and die of them, still in silence? We have been socialized to respect fear more than our own need for language.”
I began to ask each time: “What’s the worst that could happen to me if I tell this truth?” Unlike women in other countries, our breaking silence is unlikely to have us jailed, “disappeared” or run off the road at night…
…Our speaking out will permit other women to speak, until laws are changed and lives are saved and the world is altered forever.
– Audre Lorde
We considered the places and spaces in particular where we feel compelled to speak up and to name the realities that we see. Where do we need to be brave? Then we reflected on whether or not we are awake enough and aware enough to do so.
Love is Love is Love is Love
Next we looked over these words by Michael Gungor written after he marched last Saturday. He saw great unity and love but also saw fear and hatred. It brought to mind something from the podcast we listened to two weeks ago — that it is easier to unify people with hatred than it is with love. We spent some time in silence reflecting on whether this was true in our own lives.
The ego game that allows you to hate people in the name of love is a very subtle and tricky one. It feels righteous to hate the hateful. But if love is love is love is love (something I saw repeated at the march), we should also recognize that hate is hate is hate is hate. -Michael Gungor
We ended with this song, sung by William Matthews in collaboration with Gungor.
To check out last week’s Cgroup post, click here.