May She see with her eyes the sorrow of destruction.
May She hear with her ears the cries of the innocent.
May She lift with her hands the load of the burdened.
May She break with her strength the weapons of war.
May She forgive with her heart the violence against her.
May She grasp with her mind the goodness of [people].
May She find with her soul the pathway to peace.
From The Swarm by Aaron Johnston and Orson Scott Card
This beautiful, sorrowful, and hopeful chant is a plea to the female aspect of God for an end to killing. It applies not only to our current genocides in the world, but also the centuries we have visited them on people of color in our country. To best feel this quotation, try chanting it once or twice aloud. Its pattern is inspired by Buddhist prayers asking someone (or all of humanity) to find goodness, truth, or quietude. In the version printed here, the first letter of each “She” has been capitalized to emphasize the feminine aspect of God–a gender strand in Genesis in God’s name “Elohim,” which can be translated “the male-female, singular-plural God.”
We are hurting, Lord: tired, scared, and confused. In these ongoing times of the killing of so many people–of deadly weapons in our streets, homes, and hands of humans so quick to use them–please bring us awareness, love, and peace. Help us learn to solve problems with prudence before they occur, rather than after with a bullet. Guide us to create structures of assistance instead of dominance; of responsibility, not just “freedom for me”; and the patience and will to see change to its conclusion. Aid us all in not aiming our fingers and weapons, but rather our hearts, at people around us who are strangers, just as we do to those we love. Teach us kindness, Lord.
In thy name, Amen.