Breathe in Spirit
Beloved in Christ,
Along with many of you and our neighbors around the nation and the world, I'm finding myself holding my breath today as we await the verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin.
The Hebrew word ruach means both spirit and breath. At times like these, when our breath is stopped in fear, anxiety, grief, and anticipation, we are called to return again to the God that holds and sustains each and every one one of us simply by breathing in. In a year in which so many have felt their breath become labored due to COVID, in a year when protesters have felt their lungs burn with tear gas, in a year in which George Floyd's words "I can't breathe" became a renewed cry for justice, to consciously breathe in is a radical act of solidarity with those who suffer and a profound act of trust in the God who loves each one of us beyond imagining.
Presiding Bishop Curry, too, offers words of prayer as we await the verdict:
This is a tense and troubled moment, as we await the jury’s verdict in the trial of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd.
Please pray for the soul of George Floyd, for his family, and for everyone everywhere who has suffered because of the sin of racism and oppression. Pray for all the people of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Pray for this nation that we may find the ways of both justice and healing. Pray for us all.
Whatever comes with the verdict, there is no celebration. Nothing will bring George Floyd back to his family or his community back to us. The struggle continues.
If the verdict does not establish guilt, and even if it does, our pain persists and our grief goes on.
May we not be paralyzed by our pain, our fear, and our anger. May we learn, as the Bible teaches, to “love not in word and speech but in truth and in action,” truth and action that leads to justice and healing.
Let us pray,
O God, you have bound us together in a common life. Help us, in the midst of our struggles for justice and truth, to confront one another without hatred or bitterness, and to work together with mutual forbearance and respect; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
God bless you.
And, beloved, remember to breathe, safe in the knowledge that you are held in God's own hands, animated by God's own breath.
Grace and Peace,
The Right Reverend Craig Loya
Episcopal Church in MN