Moving the Lights

A couple of evenings ago, I sat on the floor with some beloved people, and we pushed lights around. We gathered around a map of the earth. Together, we held a Service for Peace, singing meditative music and placing candles prayerfully over many nations.

I was very moved by this. 

I do admit, however, that there was a moment when I wondered, are we really accomplishing anything here? Does prayerful intention change things? 

It certainly opens us to listen. If we listen, we find ourselves called to be a part of the prayers we make. We discover pretty quickly that we are called to action.

But we are also called to sit with the pain, recognizing that we fall drastically short of peace. We do violence with grave consequences. Some of this is beyond our control, but we participate in this reality.

One day after moving the lights around, along with the rest of the world, I heard the news that the U.S. had detonated the largest, non-nuclear bomb in human history. This made me deeply concerned for civilians, military personnel, and the world at large.

And as I write this, I am concerned that we might wake up to discover that bombs have been dropped over North Korea as well, the third nation in two weeks. We don’t know where this is headed, but it feels devastating.

We need care and support in one another, but as much as can, we need to sit with the pain too. That’s part of what solidarity is about. It’s about action, but in order to get there, we have to grapple with the pain.

Today is Good Friday in my faith tradition. On this day, we remember the trauma of death in the face of state violence. We sit with that pain, recognizing our complicity.

Tonight, I will remember the lights that we moved around. And I hope that they move me.

Renee Roederer

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