I get regular emails from colleagues whose job is to minister to fellow ministers. At the UU Ministers Association, for example, the executive team takes turns sending out reflections to the membership. A recent message from Rev. Melissa Carvill Ziemer gave me a sense of hope and support, and here I pass that along to you.
Rev. Melissa noted the sense of overwhelm that can be present when confronted with the news of the world and the nation, and she offers the words that she speaks to herself to combat the hopelessness:
After reading the news of more hateful, dangerous legislation, or the terrors of violence in so many places: “remember, everywhere there are people resisting, so join them and do what you can. Make a phone call, send an email, click on the link to donate.”
This is relevant for me, and maybe it is for you as well. This week I have felt that sense of overwhelming helplessness when hearing the news of more undemocratic gerrymandering of voting districts; and the news of more bombing and loss of life in Ukraine. Remember, everywhere there are people resisting, so join them and do what you can. Join them and do what you can. Remember that you are not alone—that many people of good will are paying attention to injustice and responding as they are able.
I will quote one more passage from Rev. Melissa’s reflection:
When I’m consumed in noticing all that is wrong: “remember, always there is something right. Take a break and notice what is good. Love is abundant and reliable, freedom fighters are everywhere, beauty is an inexhaustible gift of the universe.”
She follows this with examples of beauty in her world, in her yard, in her neighborhood. We can all find beauty in our surroundings. I love this affirmation that beauty is an inexhaustible gift of the universe. And I love the tone of Rev. Melissa’s writing--especially the tone of the voice in quotation marks that is surely the voice of the writer speaking to herself, reassuring herself, comforting herself, urging herself to go on. May we all find that voice within ourselves.
I am blessed to be part of a UU ministers’ network that is intentional about supporting one another. I am blessed to receive the words and counsel of Melissa Carvill Zeimer, giving me tools and energy to continue working for peace and justice in a dangerous world. She reminds me that it is a beautiful, hopeful world also—and I remind you of the same. I extend this circle of love and care to all who read this message: you are loved. Love is abundant and reliable. In the face of life’s challenges, may you remember to pause and find your strength through a calming breath; through noticing trees, birds, sky outside your window; through connecting to the ones who are with you on this journey. You are not alone.
May you find the voice within you that counsels hope, that advises you to care for yourself, that reminds you that love is present. Some call this voice the Loving God Within; others call it the Inner Teacher or the Ideal Parent. May each of us find that voice, and be blessed by the wisdom and love that we hear when we listen to it.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
April 28, 2022