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A Place for Sanctuary. Daily Dose. (April 5 – 8)

Tuesday — This I know for certain: We all need stories that fortify us.
Stories for self-care, to refuel our better angels.
Stories to create sanctuaries of calm.
Stories about mercy and freedom from heartlessness.
And these must be our stories; stories we must own. If we don’t own the story, it owns us. And when we are disconnected from our best selves, we pummel one another. And you can count on this: dehumanizing and shaming never help. When it is our story, choose. Pro-actively, bringing our whole self to this moment.

We learned from Kassie Temple’s story (the Catholic Worker Movement), to remind us that throughout history, people, very ordinary people have taken exception to hopelessness and to exclusion. And to hate. And to violence.
Ordinary people… that’s you and me…

Which still begs the question: how do we step up (spill light, become an instrument of peace) in a world that’s doing its best to numb us?
I’m so grateful for Sabbath Moment email. And so many mentioned the power and affirmation from Lady Gaga’s beautiful, sensitive, and moving accompaniment of Liza Minnelli on stage. The moment when Lady Gaga assured Minnelli “I’ve got you,” when she lost her place with the words. A moment of quiet gentle sanctuary, and grace.

So… yes, can we change up the script? Can we talk about the kindness and graciousness of the Lady Gaga instead of the self-centered, violent words and actions of “others”? Can we apply that approach to all of our lives? Can we focus not on the loudest and flashiest but the tender and loving? The actions that bring life not those that grab the spotlight. One of my dear friends recently reminded me that grace-filled living in this simultaneously excruciating and beautiful world is the only thing that really brings… light… And she is right. (Thank you Jeannie Anne Winston Mooney)

About our choice… which story do we live out?
This from Jeff Foster…
If we are honest, we have all been there, and we all may go there again. And soon.
There is no shame in feeling broken, a mess, full of rage, far from our vision of “love”.
Let’s lift the taboo.
No feeling is wrong, and, as Rumi says, no feeling is final either.
Let’s lift the taboo on our intimate internal life.
Violence belongs primarily in imagination, in myth and story and fantasy. There it can live its life to completion and catharsis.
We have always loved stories of great battles.
We love it when goodness prevails.
We can rest as the storm rages.
And from a place of presence, we can make a new choice.
We are not bound anymore, blinded by our past, doomed to repeat unhealthy behaviours, puppets to the ones who didn’t know any better.
We can make a new choice. Today. Harness the spiritual power of our anger (for it only wants to be heard). Use it to fight for good. To speak truth, fearlessly. To speak up about cases and causes we believe in. To speak out against abuse and bullying of any kind. To protest. Not to hurt or to damage or to bully or to kill, but to protect and uplift and educate and speak up for our loved ones. 

I took heart in a pre-recorded video shown at the Grammy Awards Sunday night, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urging Americans, from a bunker in Kyiv, to “support us in any way you can. Any–but not silence.”

Quote for our week…
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” Mr. Rogers

Wednesday — This week, we’re finding and telling stories that fortify us.
Stories for self-care, to refuel our better angels.
Stories to create sanctuaries of calm.
Stories about mercy and freedom from heartlessness.
And these must be our stories; stories we must own. If we don’t own the story, it owns us. And when we are disconnected from our best selves, we pummel one another. And you can count on this: dehumanizing and shaming never help. When it is our story, choose. Pro-actively, bringing our whole self to this moment.

We are learning what it means to embrace (the Jewish phrase) ahavat chinam. “If we were destroyed, and the world with us, due to baseless hatred, then we shall rebuild ourselves, and the world with us, with (ahavat chinam) love for no good reason. Better I should err on the side of love for no good reason, than I should err on the side of baseless hatred.”
Yes and amen. Love for no good reason…
I need to absorb this. Because when I do see hate, I have difficulty believing that our hearts are vessels of love. This week has unsettled me, and I’m finding sanctuaries in words, songs and invitations to not put a bushel over the light I can shine to make this world (yes, the small world around me) a better place. 

Gratefully, so many are writing from their hearts to do just that…
This from Dan Rather.
We weep…
We pray…
We feel a deep tear at the fabric of our common humanity…
As the days have turned into weeks, the carnage on our screens continues to intensify. It is so unsettling (in a world where so much of the news is perilous) that we may feel tempted to look away. We risk becoming inured to the death and suffering. It is horror on repeat. But we cannot afford to hide from the full force of the truth. We cannot accept this as fate beyond our control.
That’s why I wanted to leave you tonight with an example of encouragement. The world-famous chef José Andrés has dedicated his life recently to feeding those in need in the wake of natural or man-made disasters through his nonprofit charity World Central Kitchen. Now he is rushing into these godforsaken towns where the Russian army committed its atrocities.
In a world full of hunger, let us all try to offer the nourishment of empathy and the sustenance of hope.

I was introduced to the music of Holly Near. And her song, I am willing, did my heart good
I am open and I am willing
To be hopeless would seem so strange
It dishonors those who go before us
So lift me up to the light of change
There is hurting in my family
There is sorrow in my town
There is panic in the nation
There is wailing the whole world round
May the children see more clearly
May the elders be more wise
May the winds of change caress us
Even though it burns our eyes
Give me a mighty oak to hold my confusion
Give me a desert to hold my fears
Give me a sunset to hold my wonder
Give me an ocean to hold my tears

I’ll give Tonny K. Brown the last word. “The greatest thing you will ever give to the world is your commitment to leave what you find in better condition than the way you found it. Leave a single light in a place where there was once darkness so those coming behind you may see further and begin where you left.”  

Thursday —

Here’s our Prayer Blessing…
Peace Prayer of Saint Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.

Video — Prayer of St. Francis – Sarah Mclachlan w/lyrics

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  1. Dear Terry….I have had times when my Sabbath Moment does not arrive for whatever reason and that was the case this past Monday, April 4th. I found this site today just seeing if I could find this week’s breath of fresh air. I am hoping I can see next week’s message appear on my e-mail bright and early on the 11th. Thank you for your words of encouragement and hope. Have a wonderful week and Blessed Palm Sunday. Carol Shaw

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