Healing and Hope in 2021
By Martha E. Fagan, RN, BSN
My intention this week was to write about our tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions and discussing ways we can set ourselves up for success as we move towards change.
Then the violent events on Wednesday at our nation’s Capital occurred and my heart is aching, and I’ve thought of little else. I keep asking myself “How did we arrive at this moment as a country?” I certainly don’t have the answer to that question though I’d wager fear plays a significant role in bringing us to such a desperate place. Fear of the “other”, fear of change, fear of struggle and poverty, fear of loss, fear of losing our control…the list is endless. Regardless of the basis of our fear—when we operate from a place of fear, anger and blame rise to the surface, and when unchecked, rage takes over. Speaking out and standing up for what we believe in, peaceful protest, is the bedrock of our democracy. Marching forward with the intention to desecrate and destroy is uncontrolled rage and hatred and that is what we witnessed on Wednesday.
This moment of calm after the storm is tenuous and we face significant challenges in the days, weeks and months ahead. The genie can’t just be put back in the bottle.
So, I’d like to share a prayer written for this time—a prayer for strength and healing and hope. Regardless of your beliefs or your religious affiliation I hope the words below bring some comfort and solace to you. May we move forward from this place of hatred and distance to one of loving kindness and unity.
A PRAYER FOR OUR COUNTRY by Rabbi Daniel Levin
Dear God: Spread the wings of your Sheltering Presence over the members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate.
As our elected officials shape the destiny of the country, bless them with wisdom and understanding, and inspire them to be true to their oaths to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. May they draw on the inspiration and wisdom that guided the founders of our democracy and show them the way that will lead us to transcend this painful, hateful moment.
Cause us to embrace the virtues of humility, forbearance, decency, and kindness. Teach us to renounce anger and cynicism, lead us to embrace Your teachings and Your truths, to be pursuers of justice and peace, that we may learn to join hands with one another to build America to be, once again, a light to the nations.
This moment calls all of us to renew our pledge to the motto of our nation:
E Pluribus Unum- out of many, we are one.
We must reject with all our might the forces that seek to divide us as a nation, and stand together as one nation, under God, against violence, intolerance, bigotry, and hate.
We must demand, both of ourselves and our leaders, that we restore our commitment to honesty, integrity, and the common good, so that we can renew trust and faith in the institutions of government and our public servants.
Let us learn to celebrate the humanity in those that differ from us, to learn again to love not simply our neighbors but also the stranger, and to restore a collective love for the United States of America.
May the week ahead be peaceful, allowing us to move forward to the next chapter in history under a new administration without further harm, destruction or loss of life. God bless the United States of America.