I went to my Sacred Circle gathering at The Red Shoes tonight, and I was so glad I went. My insides were raw, and when I rounded the corner into the space where we meet, I saw about 10 other people with their rawness scrawled all over their faces. I knew that I was in the right place.
We sat together and listened to a song from Pocahontas about our inability to look at our own prejudices and priviledge.
And then we sat in silence for less than eternity but long enough to settle in. I had an awful nightmare last night, and this dream ran through my mind as I sat in contemplation. I was at work and about to start a project meeting, but my dog was with me. She was chewing on something, and I knew it was not good for her, but I was paralyzed to take it from her. Right before I got on the call, I noticed that her hair was falling out and huge raw welts were forming on her skin. It was as if she was being eaten alive by something. I was horrified and wanted to do something but I couldn’t leave my responsibilities. I woke up in the middle of my angst over what to do.
I have felt like that all week, and today’s horrific tragedy in Baton Rouge only made it worse. I’ve wondered how people live in countries that are war zones. How do you go about your daily life knowing that almost every day something horrible is going to happen? Who will it be next? WHAT will it be next? This week was like that. I scrolled down a friend’s Facebook timeline today and the tragedies paraded down her page – Pray for Orlando, Pray for France, Pray for Peace and Pray for Baton Rouge – Pray for Our City. Like my dog’s neck, the ugly raw carnage had me paralyzed.
After our meditation, I felt calmer. I felt connected. We chatted and talked about the good we had heard today, and there is plenty of that, too. In fact, people are reaching out to each other in a way I haven’t seen in awhile. A policeman friend of mine went out for ice cream last night with some colleagues, and a group of people paid for $20 gift cards for each of them. The cops in turn gave them to the employees of the store and told them to treat people to ice cream until it was all gone. Another woman stopped to ask an officer parked on the side of the road if he was okay, and he was just cleaning the windshield of his car. She commented that he had the good window cleaner, and he offered to clean hers. Then another car stopped, and he cleaned theirs, too. Then they all held hands on the side of the road and prayed.
Here in Baton Rouge on the mighty Mississippi, we are praying. We are praying for peace in our communities, our country and our world. We are praying for the families of the officers who lost their lives today. I’m praying that those who feel unheard will find more productive outlets. I’m praying that God will “show us the way.” Please pray for our city.