Today’s Stillspeaking Devotional – A Way Forward

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October 6, 2010

A Way Forward

Excerpt from Psalm 137

“By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion.”

Reflection by Donna Schaper

What does it mean that a grief or injury is over?  Is it when we stop weeping?  Or is it when we start?  Is it when we wake up in the morning without the boot in our stomach?  Or is it when we recognize that there is a boot there?

What does it mean to “get over” 9/11?  Would an interfaith center or Muslim cultural center at Ground Zero help or hinder the release into the new?  What does it mean for a mother who lost a pregnant daughter in the 9/11 disaster to speak for Muslims now and to beg the press to stop the hate so she can go on living, without war or revenge?  What does it mean for a fireman to say that the ground is desecrated if a religious center goes up nearby?   How long do we have to long for September 10th of that fateful year?

You who have come through a hard memory know the answer.  There is a way forward and out, no matter how severe the loss. It usually comes when somebody recognizes the loss and its dagger and its damage. When the fireman is really heard and the mother is really heard. Or it comes when we ourselves recognize the dagger and the disaster for what it is.  A thief of our time, a thief of our life sneaks in and takes what we love away from us.  Of course it is hard to get over!  There is a huge obstacle in the path.  Getting over it is not easy.  But many do.  More can.  Recognize the loss.  Recognize that the old Zion is gone.  And that a new one is possible.

Prayer

Sit us down by the Hudson River and the Rivers of Babylon, O God, and help us get over it, or under it or around or through it, whatever it is.  Amen.

About the Author
Donna Schaper is the Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City.  Her most recent book is Sacred Chow: a Guide to Holy Eating.

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Daily Devotional August
Tell a Friend

Facebook Fan Page Forward to a Friend Sign Up Twitter
United Church of Christ
Donate

October 6, 2010

A Way Forward

Excerpt from Psalm 137

“By the rivers of Babylon— there we sat down and there we wept when we remembered Zion.”

Reflection by Donna Schaper

What does it mean that a grief or injury is over?  Is it when we stop weeping?  Or is it when we start?  Is it when we wake up in the morning without the boot in our stomach?  Or is it when we recognize that there is a boot there?

What does it mean to “get over” 9/11?  Would an interfaith center or Muslim cultural center at Ground Zero help or hinder the release into the new?  What does it mean for a mother who lost a pregnant daughter in the 9/11 disaster to speak for Muslims now and to beg the press to stop the hate so she can go on living, without war or revenge?  What does it mean for a fireman to say that the ground is desecrated if a religious center goes up nearby?   How long do we have to long for September 10th of that fateful year?

You who have come through a hard memory know the answer.  There is a way forward and out, no matter how severe the loss. It usually comes when somebody recognizes the loss and its dagger and its damage. When the fireman is really heard and the mother is really heard. Or it comes when we ourselves recognize the dagger and the disaster for what it is.  A thief of our time, a thief of our life sneaks in and takes what we love away from us.  Of course it is hard to get over!  There is a huge obstacle in the path.  Getting over it is not easy.  But many do.  More can.  Recognize the loss.  Recognize that the old Zion is gone.  And that a new one is possible.

Prayer

Sit us down by the Hudson River and the Rivers of Babylon, O God, and help us get over it, or under it or around or through it, whatever it is.  Amen.

About the Author
Donna Schaper is the Senior Minister of Judson Memorial Church in New York City.  Her most recent book is Sacred Chow: a Guide to Holy Eating.

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July 25, 2010

Ask and Receive

Excerpt from Luke 11:10-12

For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, who will give a scorpion?


Reflection by Donna Schaper

Jesus is rarely this colorful of speech.  He is more the plainspoken type.  But here somebody has bugged him into indignation.  He is sure that doors open, but he is speaking to a people who imagine doors don’t.  He is chiding those who give children snakes instead of fish, or cynicism instead of hope; those who teach children to think that closed doors are not just closed but also locked.  If a child asks for an open world, would you give them a closed one? If a child needs an egg, why give them something that could harm them, like a scorpion?

Jesus asks a good colorful question.  Why would anyone harm children?  Unfortunately, many people harm children because they have been harmed as children.  Scorpions arrived when kids looked for eggs.  Doors can still open even for those who have yet to have the childhood they deserve.  How can we find out if that is true?  Go find a knob.  Twist it.  Go find a window.  Open it. Give it a little shoulder.  Get up tomorrow morning and get help to get over old injuries.  Get yourself a fish and an egg.  Have a resurrection breakfast.  Every day is Easter, for those who ask and search.  They receive and find.  They knock―repeatedly―and doors can open.

Prayer

O God, if past injuries are ruining our present lives, if our own hurt gets in the way of our raising our children or the world’s children, put a doorknob in our hand and have a friend stand by.  Let us ask, again, and receive what we deserve.  Amen.

The Stillspeaking Daily Devotional is a free service and is supported by your gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission. Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America,adapted. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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