Our liturgical theme for November 2020 is “Healing”
Over the course of the year, in the words and music of Sunday services, in small groups and discussion circles, in classes for adults, children and youth, and in personal reflection and practice, our life together is anchored in a series of spiritual themes – one each month through the cycle of the year.
When we think about healing, we often think about returning to optimal health. But healing does not always mean we go back to a pre-illness state. Because sometimes the activities and habits that we had grown so used to are what brought us to ill health to begin with. When we are in denial that there is something wrong, we cannot fix it. To heal means “to make whole.” And sometimes to create wholeness, we have to start again. We have to do things differently. Sometimes we have to die. And I mean that both physically and metaphorically. We have to die to old habits. We have to die to old ways of being. We have to die to patterns of thought and belief that no longer serve us or the larger society and may cause harm.
When the world has gone awry, there are brave people who work toward bringing wholeness, to restoring, to maintaining peace and democracy. Our veterans take the oath to protect us from enemies both foreign and domestic. They risk their lives so that we might be safe, that we may live in a world in which all people can be free. And when they come home, it is our responsibility to help them return to wholeness. To help them heal both physically and psychologically.
We heal also when we understand the way in which the world can be toxic and dangerous for those who stand outside what some of us might consider normative. LGBTQI people are often targeted for harm or death for just trying to be who they are. In order to heal, we have to make explicit and acknowledge harm that we can cause when we do not create an inclusive enough community where everyone can feel safe. Transgender Day of Remembrance is celebrated this month. It is the time when we remember and memorialize those who have been killed for just being who they are. When we acknowledge the damage, when we ritualize the loss, we can begin to heal the rifts caused by the violence.
And finally, we can heal by being grateful, grateful for those around us who we might not agree with but whose presence in our lives brings wholeness. In a time where everything has gone awry and we are not sure when all the upheaval is going to end, it is important to look for the small things that make the chaos a little more bearable.
Amen and Blessed Be,
Rev. Aileen Fitzke