Ramadan 2009: Day 3
You can read two beautiful postings from Peace Moms Soraya and Nadyne here.
Day 1 was a little harder than I expected, especially between about 4 and 8 pm. Hunger wasn't too bad, as I've fasted quite a bit through the years. But I don't think I've ever gone for more than a few hours without a drink of water in all my 53 years. So that was a new experience, a little extra challenging down here in the Florida heat where sweating is inevitable if you're outdoors as I was for much of the day. Grace was kind of enough to delay her dinner to coincide with mine ... and she could tell how happy I was for sundown to come so I could have a tall glass of cold water. With Day 2, I knew what to expect so things went smoother. Both days were good!
Again and again I've been thinking about people who live every day with food and water in short supply. Knowing that relief awaits me in a matter of hours, I wonder what it would be like to be a child and not have that knowledge ... or to be the parent of that child, feeling responsible for his or her well-being. You pray for your neighbors in need in a different way when you're hungry and thirsty.
Here's my prayer from Day 2 (after the jump):
Our Creator, our Source of life and breath, our Provider and Sustainer and Protector, I thank you for this sunrise. I love this special light of early morning, bathing the east side of everything in a special light. And yesterday, I loved the opposite light of late afternoon with its own golden glow. And midday light has its own fierce beauty too. And this morning when I awoke before dawn and stepped outside, how beautifully and clearly the stars were shining! Day after day, the Psalmist said, and night after night as well, an eloquent speech without words pours out all around us, declaring your glory, Light of the World, Creator of every good and perfect thing.
What a remarkable thing that a small human being, so fragile, so dependent on sun and rain, on plants and bees and other creatures for survival, can presume to address you ... the unimaginable, unnameable, uncontainable Creator who speaks and a universe explodes into being in a flash of light. Then you watch and guide as all we our universe expands, accelerates, spins out galaxies and suns and planets, develops life, and unfolds in billions upon billions of life stories. You know each one. Again, with the Psalmist, I ponder, "What are we human beings, that you take thought of us, that you condescend to make contact with us and allow us to make contact with you?"
So today, I thank you for the grace that welcomes me into fellowship with you, and with all creation. And I remember today that the ground is level before your grace ... no person is above others, no person can pretend to superiority, no person can look down on others, but we all are recipients and beneficiaries of the amazing grace in which we stand.
Thank you for this grace, my God, and especially on this day of resurrection, for the unique and wonderful grace that was shining with truth in Jesus. Thank you for the image of you that he uniquely offers humanity, and the gifts that he offers all people, whatever their language, culture, religion, social standing, political affiliation, sexuality, gender, occupation, age, education, wealth, illness, abilities, intelligence, appearance, moral standing, affiliation, or name. I look forward today to joining with others in celebrating your grace and worshiping you in prayer, song, sermon, ritual, and silence. Alleluia!