ISSUES OF FAITH: Courage is fear that has said its prayers

FRIENDS, THE PAST few weeks have been historically difficult ones for our country. You know the reasons I say this, and likely in great and worrying detail. I suspect that, like me, you have spent hour upon hour in front of the television or computer screen lately, watching with alarm the conflicts erupting in our country.

As people of faith, what are we to do right now?

The fact of the matter is that many devout people of faith are feeling uncertain and afraid right now. At this point, we may not have the heart to even consider doing anything. We just want to hunker down and hope it all goes away.

I would like to suggest, however, that it is precisely during times like this when we are called to seek deeper truths.

The good news is that we can be uncertain, afraid and morally brave at the same time, and praying helps. Praying for guidance is what people of faith having been doing for eons. By praying, we steady ourselves. By praying, we ask for help from a deeper source of wisdom than any social media pundit or talk show host can provide. By praying, we are reminded of this one important thing: We are not alone in the face of this challenge.

I have been praying all of my life, and I can tell you this: never once have I emerged from prayer with the desire to engage in violence, blow something up or terrorize others. Quite the contrary. More than anything, prayer guides me to love and care for others and to help build heaven on earth.

Lawyer, filmmaker and interfaith leader Valeri Kaur reminds us that God is love, but not the passive type. God’s love is transformative.

She writes:

“[This] Love is an action, not a feeling. It is the choice to extend our will for the flourishing of other people, our opponents, as well as ourselves. And when we love even in the face of fear and rage, we can transform. We can transform an encounter, a relationship, a culture, a country. When we love even in the face of fear and rage, love becomes revolutionary.”

Practicing this kind of revolutionary love may seem unfathomable, but history has shown us that people of faith can and do achieve extraordinary things.

It may take a while, yes, but this sacred work deserves our patience, attention and action.

As we collectively find our way back to each other, I have one last suggestion.

Please take care of your spiritual health right now. Go outside often, breathe deeply, take in the beauty of this spectacular Olympic Peninsula, and look for the Holy in one another — whether or not you agree on politics.

This is a revolution I can support!

________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. The Rev. Kate Lore is a minister at the Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend. Her email is [email protected]

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