Remembering Charlottesville and Living Our Love

This morning, our service was Love Beyond Beliefs, and we made special mention of the events in Charlottesville, VA on Friday night and Saturday.  To follow on from that service, I offer the written text of the meditation/prayer I shared, and some opportunities to support the community in Charlottesville.

First, the meditation, beginning with words from Louise Erdrich:

“Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.”

Spirit of love and of life,

we come together today our hearts broken, aching,  weeping.

We risk our hearts in love for this beautiful and terrible world, and our siblings, flawed humanity, ourselves, flawed, too.

Let love flow in and out of our broken hearts, Love that is stronger than hate, Love that is stronger than death Love that can empower us in every moment to choose, to act, to answer the call.

And if we are weary this day, this moment, may we rest where there is sweetness abundant, and be restored and renewed.Let us be in a time of stillness with one another.

If you want to act to support the community of Charlottesville, click here to go to a Twitter thread that includes links to organizations that are making a difference in that city including the NAACP local chapter, Planned Parenthood, agencies that work for affordable housing among others.

The Southern Poverty Law Center which tracks hate groups suggests ten ways to fight hate in this Community Response Guide.

To support the people who were injured by the car driven into the crowd, this appears to be a legitimate fundraising effort here.

Finally, the closing words from our service:

These are dangerous times.  Times of chaos and violence.  We are called to act, to journey toward a new vision of what is essential and true and best.  These are also times of possibility and promise when we can lean into the struggle and create the world anew.

Let us respond with love, love beyond beliefs, beyond fear, beyond our smalls selves to make the world we dream and pray for a world achieved.