The Scripture ~ “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” 1st John 4:7-8
The Spiritual Focus ~ “ Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning and purpose to our lives.” Brene’ Brown
The Breath prayer ~ We are one
The Devotion ~ This month as we wandered down the path of loving kindness, we paused to reflect on God’s loving kindness toward us, hesed. We continued down the path looking inward on what loving kindness practices we adhere to for the self. Now as we journey, we look outward: What does loving kindness toward others look like? While most would agree that after receiving and realizing the gift of loving kindness, a natural outcome would be to share loving kindness with others, but that is not always the trajectory. Many organizations are “doing” good works that are needed and important, but to be an agent of loving kindness requires presence, and not just presence with people whom we like or people like us.
The quote from Brene’ Brown comes from a sermon she gave at the Washington National Cathedral this past January. There were many quotable moments in the sermon but one thing she said she liked about church was its connectedness. That when you “kneel at the rail with someone you may not even like, you are connected in something greater than self.” She identified one of our growing problems in society is our tendency to categorize and dehumanize people not like us. When we do this, we opt out of caring at best and allow harm at worst. Brene’s sermon was reposted on FB hours before the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. We cannot harm what we love or what we do not see as separate from self. Loving kindness is a way of being, being present to each other in meaningful loving connectedness. A way of “being” experienced by God’s love for us.
At a recent yoga class, the teacher said, “The light in me, the light in you, comes from One source, Love, we are one.” She closed the class singing the sound of the universe, OM. Om is thought to be a universal vibration that, when sung, joins together all people and the whole universe. Singing the Om might be uncomfortable for some who do not understand the meaning. Perhaps for them singing amen, “let it be so”, is more available. Whatever practice or sound that is chosen with the intention of keeping us on the path of loving kindness and connected with God, self and others is a God-breathed spiritual practice.