From Hiroshima to Hope

August 6, 2018  26 Av 5778

Great Spirit of the Universe, You are known by many names:  God, Allah, Adonai, Jesus, Vishnu, Krishna, Kami . . .

All of which point toward that which is Beyond All Names, beyond any human comprehension or image

Since the beginning of time, You have inspired peoples throughout the world with great teachings to guide us as we discern how best to navigate our way through this beautiful creation which, You, in Your great goodness, shared with us, and with all of the other creatures who share this magnificent place with us

One teaching, Divine One, says that we human beings are created in Your image

And what we do on this earthly plane manifests You in the world.


Dear God,

We know that You, in Your mysterious ways, have the power to unleash great destruction on this planet:

You can cause the earth to tremble with such violence and force that buildings collapse and whole cities are buried with barely a trace;

You can make the rains to fall with such speed and volume that small streams swell into wild rushing rivers, causing massive slides of mud to swallow houses and those who live in them,

And You can send bolts of lightning hurdling down to the earth, setting forests on fire, destroying every tree and bush, every fawn and tree frog that had once lived there.

Is it this destructive side of You, Great Mystery, that you want us to make manifest in this world that you have created, that you have so generously shared with us and with all of the other creatures who share this space with us?

Do you want us to use the tremendous intelligence and skill with which you have endowed us

To build bombs that can unleash great destruction wiping out whole populations and innocent and blameless creatures, leaving wide swaths of civilization eviscerated in a matter of seconds?

Do you want us to use the creative force that pulses through us to develop weapons of mass destruction

weapons of any kind of destruction . . .

that have the capability to end life at such a pace and speed that we cease to see the humanity in the faces of those whom we mow down and are no longer able to recognize the humanity in the faces that stare back at us in the mirror?

Divine Source of All that Is

We pray

We pray from the depths of our hearts and souls . . ..

Help us choose to manifest not Your destructive forces, but rather, Your goodness in the world

Help us to see that the lovingkindness with which the polar bear mother caresses her cub

Is the same lovingkindness in us, with which we can care for those who are innocent and vulnerable and dependent on our loving and protective care;

Help us to see that the grief of the orca mother

Is the same grief in us,

The same grief in all mothers and fathers who lose their young, whether to the destructive force of the pistol’s bullet or to the pollution of the waters and the warming of the seas;

Help us, Dear God, to see that the creative force with which You fashioned the wild rose and the flamingo, the sapphire and the fern

is the same creative force within us, with which we can create not weapons, but beautiful works of art and tools for healing . . .

for healing our fellow creatures, the planet, our souls.

Great Spirit of the Universe, God, Allah, Adonai, Jesus, Vishnu, Krishna, Kami . . .

Your great wisdom traditions have taught us, in many different words, in many different ways,

“See, I set before you this day life and goodness, death and adversity;

These, then, are your sacred obligations:  to love that Mysterious Source of All, to walk in ways of holiness, to live accordigto the sacred obligations, laws, and guidelines that will help you long endure on this planet;

See, I place before you life and death, blessing and curse.

Choose life,

if you and your offspring, and all of the offspring of all of the creatures on this planet will live.”

Help us, dear God, to choose life.  Each and every day, help us make that choice.  Today, tomorrow, in this generation and the next.

Choose life.  Choose life. Choose life.

May it be so.