We cannot be saved by anyone, or anything, but each other
We cannot be saved by anyone, or anything, but each other
Prayer

Source of all,
This is my third attempt at a prayer.
The first two revealed to me that I am angry,
 which I didn’t realize until I just couldn’t bend those prayers into what I thought they should be.  

What is wrong with us, how can we be so depraved and cruel, how is it we do not learn, how can we not have become better than this, how will we ever get better than this, why is it taking so long, why must so many people suffer while we still refuse to value each other, to free each other, to lift each other?  

How is it that we are so beautiful and so ugly, so blessed and so cursed?

Refugees continue to flee for their lives to nations where they know nothing and no one, not even the language; people within these nations of refuge point fingers and name the refugees as the threat, as the problem, as the illness not the symptom, as the danger and not the victims.

So let me lay my anger aside, fold it carefully with my rageful hands and I will take it out later, rant and rend it later, give it to you, Source of All, if you are there to receive it, later.  

But now, let us pray our grief for all those who have died in fear and horror.
Let us pray our hope for those whose lives hang in the balance now,
even as we breathe in this moment, may they recover, may they live.
Let us pray for those who have just lost someone they love, may they be held in their grief.
Let us pray for those on a boat that is tossing in an ever colder sea today or tomorrow.
Let us pray for those crossing a ever colder desert today or tomorrow.

We pray that they all survive, every single one, every person in peril, every child, every youth, every soul, every parent and grandparent, every soul, every desperate soul.

And may we understand that our prayers are not enough, may our own growing awareness of their courage and desperation become action, action that helps them be met with safety and warmth and respect, recognized as our own, of our own making, of our own family.

May we not pray for intervention, salvation, completion, redemption, those tired prayers that assume saving is someone else’s work, only God’s work. May we instead understand that we cannot be saved by or for anyone, or anything, but each other.  

Each other is what we are given and all that will save us.  
This planet is all we have and all that will save us.  
Our own honor is all we have and all that will save us.
Each others’ humanity is all we have and all that will save us.  
All that we are, all we will be known for, all we will be judged by, all that will intervene for us, save us, complete us, redeem us is us.  Us. 
Us.
Alright.
Alright.
Amen.

About the Author

  • The Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay is minister of First Unitarian Church of Providence, R.I. Raised Unitarian Universalist in Newton, Mass., she earned an M.Div. and a Th.M. from Harvard Divinity School. Her studies focused on the archaeology, texts, and history of ancient Greek...

For more information contact worshipweb@uua.org.

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