For everyone born by Shirley Erena Murray

For everyone born, a place at the table,
for everyone born, clean water and bread,
a shelter, a space, a safe place for growing,
for everyone born, a star over head.

Refrain:Cross and bowl

And God will delight when we are creators
of justice and joy, compassion and peace;
yes, God will delight when we are creators
of justice, justice, and joy.

For woman and man, a place at the table,
revising the roles, deciding to share,
with wisdom and grace, dividing the power,
for woman and man, a system that’s fair. Refrain

For young and for old, a place at the table,
a voice to be heard, a part in the song,
the hands of a child in hands that are wrinkled,
for young and for old, the right to belong. Refrain

For everyone born, a place at the table,
to live without fear, and simply to be,
to work, to speak out, to witness and worship,
for everyone born, the right to be free.

 Photo courtesy: Daphne Martin-Gnanadason

Lessons from a little heart…

When our three-year old son Karthik, witnessed the passing away of his dear grandfather last week, he had several questions like any toddler would have. He knew that Jonathan thatha (his paternal grandfather) was no more and that he has gone forever. For a child to understand “gone forever” is both beautiful and important. Important because he would not live with the expectation of seeing his thatha tomorrow and beautiful because he hides wonderful memories in his little heart and he remembers the lessons that thatha had taught him in his sharp mind.

When Karthik saw his thatha lying peacefully in a cold freezer box, he asked us how thatha could go to God if we put him in a box. He was upset that we did not open the box to let him go. His question may be innocent but it helped me reflect on a very important issue in life. Sometimes, we find it hard to let go of our anger and hatred and we let our hearts turn icy and cold but we try to convince ourselves that we are free souls. But, how can we be liberated if we do not let go of feelings that hold us back from being peaceful? I am grateful that my son taught me this very important lesson on one of the saddest days of my life.

Later, when the wooden coffin arrived, he said, “Look, the boat has come to take thatha to God“.  To me, this is one of the most beautiful imagery about passing on. We sail across the mysterious ocean of life and we move on to the ocean of eternal life. We don’t know if the winds are going to be rough or smooth but what we know is that we all travel through the waters of life and love.

 

Have a little patience with God…

Can you think of little surprises that make us happy?

A postcard from a friend. A compliment from a colleague. A sneaky snuggle from your child or grandchild. An unexpected refund. A comforting prayer. Early morning coffee. Paper boats on puddles …These are few things that warm my heart. I have never really prayed for any of these things but they just happen and brings a smile. Very often, instead of enjoying the moment, these moments get overlooked while I’m focusing on other things. Things that seem like (at least to me) insurmountable troubles in life! It’s a problem that hasn’t been solved, a squabble with a friend, a sick friend a prayer that is unanswered.  When prayers are not answered and I see pain and injustice around me, I get very impatient with God. I wonder why God doesn’t intervene when there’s injustice and make our problems disappear.

Coming to think of it, my myopic vision isn’t fair on God. God does not choose to burden us or make us suffer. Small surprises that we encounter each day are a constant reminder that God does care for us. Just as we are different from each other, so is the nature of our problems. We each carry our own burdens and life is never easy. But, perhaps unfolding the little surprises God has in store for us can help us get through the bigger problems. Instead of blaming God for our burdens, we need to focus on our priorities and be responsible for our lives and actions. Instead of being impatient with God, we need to have the courage to think through our problems and find a way out. God’s ways are not always obvious and many times we fail to see God’s answers but if we take charge of our lives and pay attention to the small details, we will certainly be able to look past our troubles and see that God always cares.

Our prayers may not be answered the way we like them to be but God loves us and cares deeply about us. When we worry about our future, God worries too 🙂