A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Meditation Moments in Lent: Frederick Douglass ~ Prophetic Witness

            We have men sold to build churches, women sold to support the gospel, and babes sold to purchase Bibles for the poor heathen! All for the glory of God and the good of souls! The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand.            

~ Frederick Douglass 1817-1895

Will it ever be more than an "Us vs Them" world where we use the name of God as a weapon to justify all manner of inhumanity towards others? Where we choose to reject, demean, dismiss, cast out, or enslave others who don't look like or think like or believe like us? Where the few, for their own sense of power and personal gain, deliberately mislead the many who follow blindly into thoughts, words, and deeds that promote mistrust, deception, hatred, and all too much violence? Are we, the many, too self-absorbed to realize how easy it is to fall into unconscious group-think "understanding" and apply derogatory categories and labels that define our relationships with those other  than ourselves? 

Holy Lord of Heaven and Earth, 
         In this sacred time of Lent, grant me the strength of character and the courage of conviction and action of Your Servant, Frederick. Move me to go beyond merely knowing  what is right and good to being  right and good, and further, to doing  right and good in Your name for all the people of this world, especially in my own community. Help me to push beyond the barriers of my own making, to see through the halos and shadows imposed by others but accepted by me. Guide my heart to remember that we are each and every one the essence of Your Creation. And most of all, when I am in the midst of a moment of anger, doubt, fear, or uncertainty, help me to thoughtfully respond rather than mindlessly react out of arrogance or a false sense of superiority. Push me to take the time to breathe in Your Spirit and the love of Christ and Your saving help again that I may exhale grace into the space around me.  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.   amen.

*Born into slavery on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Douglass ultimately escaped and, as an ardent abolitionist leader, social reformer, renowned orator and author, the power of his pen and speech, at the very least, decimated the prevailing argument that people of color were intellectually inferior.  Becoming a licensed lay preacher in the A.M.E. Zion Church in 1839, his phenomenal biography would be amazing for anyone and all the more so for an escaped slave. He so impressed the Irish and English on a tour there, that funds were raised by British supporters to purchase his freedom from his owner in 1846. He returned to the US as a free man. The US Episcopal Church celebrates Douglass as a Prophetic Witness on the Liturgical Calendar for February 20.  
 Click to see the following:  Frederick Douglass  

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