Several people asked me for copies of the prayer I used last Sunday to end my sermon on the Sixth Source as a living prayer. It’s below in its entirety. I had used a slightly shorter version than what Valarie Kaur created a few weeks ago. A special thanks to Anne Miller for sending it to me.
As you read this prayer, see if you can imagine it being like a mission statement for Westside or your own personal life. How would you express this prayer through your thoughts, words and deeds? How would Westside UU Congregation express it?
“Prayer to Heal the Nation, November, 2016 by Valarie Kaur
Waheguru Ji Ki Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh. (Sanskrit)
In our tears and agony, we hold our children close today. We confront the truth today. The future is dark.
But what if? What if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb but the darkness of the womb? What if our America is not dead but a country still waiting to be born? What if the story of America is one long labor? What if all the mothers who came before us who survived genocide and occupation, slavery and Jim Crow, racism, sexism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, political oppression, sexual assault are standing behind us now, whispering in our ear, “You are brave.”
What if? What if this is our great contraction before we birth a new future? Let us remember the wisdom of the midwife. “Breathe,” she says. And then, “Push.” Tonight, it is time to breathe but soon it will be time to push. Soon it will be time to fight for those we love, the Muslim father, Sikh son, trans daughter, indigenous brother, immigrant sister, white worker, the poor and forgotten, and, yes, yes, the ones who cast their vote out of fear.
Let us make an oath tonight to fight for the soul of America. In the words of Langston Hughes, “A land that never has been yet and yet still must be.” With revolutionary love and relentless optimism, I pray. And so I pray this Sikh prayer:
Nanak Naam Chardi Kala, Tere Bane Sarbat Da Bhalla
In the name of the divine, in the name of love within us and around us, we find everlasting optimism. Within your will may there be grace for all of humanity.
Waheguru Ji Ka Khalsa Waheguru Ji Ki Fateh.”