I speak slowly now.
Or, at least I try to.
It is often awkward.
And I often need to forgive my mistakes.
When I am about to speak of the place where my religious community meets, I pause. I meditate on the history of the way the church has oppressed Jews and Pagans. I remember my internship on Long Island and the conversations I had with children of holocaust survivors and with students of history. I recall the way I used to lock down my protective boundaries when talking with a professed Christian. I reflect on my recent visit to the UU congregation in Salem, housed in the same place of worship that housed the puritans who oversaw the Salem witch trials. And I say "congregation."
Love calls me to speak more slowly, and I try to respond when love calls.
When I ask you to rise to sing together I mention that you may want to do so in spirit and not in body, or both, and it is your choice. And I remember the time you could not get in the door to join us at worship. I see the path to the outdoor ritual space that was impassable to your walker, and then I hear the person who insisted they didn't need the mike and you missed their words, or the time you overheard me say "that's crazy" to describe dumping toxic waste the day after your meds stabilized enough for you to try leaving the house.I want to call upon others to act in solidarity with a movement for social or climate justice. And since I know that standing hurts, and you do your justice work from your chair or your bed...I slow down. Again. The word I want... May feel clumsy to find. May not flow or feel right at first. Or, it could be even better!
We are traveling together on the side of love. Let us rise to the invitation ... To BE more love. Let our dancing for justice be of heart, mind and soul. I pray that I can slow down enough to receive your story and to respond with care and compassion. And I pray that we will forgive each other, again, and ourselves, again. Let us begin, slowly, in love.