Today I feel helpless.

Today I am a citizen of a nation where hatred and greed and violence and deception — all the worst parts of humanity — are being sworn into office.

I feel helpless as I watch the safety and freedom and dignity of my gay friends and immigrant neighbors systematically eroded by the powers that be.

I feel helpless as I watch people I love become megaphones of uniformed bigotry and ignorance. I feel helpless as I watch the religion I (sometimes) claim become hijacked by the powerful and perverted beyond recognition.

I feel helpless as I recognize the rage inside of me that dehumanizes my own brothers and sisters, that would take an eye for an eye until the whole world is blind as sin.

And over and over in my helplessness I return to the Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.

Sometimes this prayer is all I have; in those moments, it is enough. So it seemed like a good time to carve these words onto my chest. I have a feeling I’ll need them close by in the days ahead.

ink[ ink by Jocelyn McGregor ]

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