United Church of Christ

 

To the Interbreathing Spirit of All Life
As You Cough and Choke amid Our Fires

 

Prayer from Arthur Waskow

Interfaith Day of Prayer

May 7, 2020

 

 

You Who are the Interbreathing Spirit of all life,
You Who are the “still small Voice” 
Who whispers breath into all living --
We hear You coughing, choking, 
As we flood all Earth with burning smoke of carbon.
We hear You coughing, choking, 
As human throats breathe in a virus 
That comes as a plague to all of us --
Worse for those who already live on margins --  
And as a warning to our pharaohs..
 
We recall the burning crosses lit by hate and greed;
We recall the flame and smoke
That rose from Auschwitz and from Hiroshima.
That still rise from the burning forests of the Amazon,
Torched for the sake of fast hamburger and fast wealth.
We count the hottest years of human history
That bring upon us
Melted ice fields. Flooded cities.
Scorching droughts. Murderous wildfires.

Before us we among all life-forms
 Face the nightmare of a Flood of Fire,
The heat and smoke that could consume all Earth.

Yet with Your help, O Breath of life, 
We come to douse that outer all-consuming fire.
To light again in our own hearts
The inner fire that burned in the Burning Bush –
The fire that did not consume the Bush it burned in.
And to hear the inner Voice that breathed a whisper
Of love and liberation amidst the inner flame:
For Love and Breath are strong as death --
Love’s fire that breathes in the heart of all Creation
To ease Your Breath throughout Your Earth.
 
We vow to make from inner fire
Not an all-consuming blaze
But the loving light in which we see more clearly
The Rainbow Covenant glowing
in the many-colored faces of all life.
 
 
 

Rabbi Arthur Waskow

Author, political and social activist, educator, founder and director of The Shalom Center, Philadelphia, and writer of the Freedom Seder. 

Creative Commons Copyright (c) 2020 by The Shalom Center. Freely use with inclusion of this notice.

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