Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Pentecost Prayer Day 34

I am Eve, always seeking the knowledge of good and evil,
And suffering greatly with each revelation in myself and others.
I am Sarah, the mother of a new generation of leaders in their tribes.
And I am Hagar who is turned away by other mothers
For fear that I will turn from handmaiden to matriarch.

I am the mother of Moses, sending my boy off to his destiny;
Though my womb bore him, and at my breasts, he nursed.
I became the handmaiden to those who claimed him.
And I have been called a warrior and judge, as was Deborah. 

I am Martha and Mary, both serving and observing,
Wanting to feed many with warm milk and with wisdom,
Knowing that there are many not open to mothering.
I am Mary Magdalene, scorned and scourged as a whore,
And I am the mother/wife of men who honor my motherhood.

Though I cry bitter tears of blood for human suffering,
I know that I can’t turn others from their sacred missions.
If I was able to be stoic as I follow in others’ footsteps,
Perhaps I would be allowed to stay at the foot of the cross.
Barring that honor, I will continue to observe and speak out.

My prayer for Pentecost is that we all have the courage to speak of what we observe.

Pentecost Prayer Day 33

It seems that the hijab is considered a justifiable reason to persecute the wearer. I grew up Roman Catholic; in my youth, women weren't allowed to enter churches without head coverings.  Even non-orthodox Jewish men show respect in their temples by covering their heads. As an adult in sales, I used to wear a large hat whenever I was making sales calls, and was picked up by a policeman under suspicion of being a prostitute. Talk about jumping to conclusions!

Not all passionate displays of belief are suspicious. Is the horseback enthusiast suspect for donning a cowboy hat and western boots? Is the blue-collar worker less a fellow citizen for wearing a “Cat” hat? Is the sports or school fan a heretic because the colors of the team are worn? Do we have to confine our displays of our beliefs to homogeneous groups in order not to be persecuted?
We could do with more modesty in our citizenry, but America has a way of using desensitization by over-exposure as the way to bring ideas and practices into the mainstream. Maybe we women should all start covering our heads in solidarity with those wearing the hijab. The plus side for many of us would be no more “bad hair” days, and possibly less skin cancer.
America was founded on pluralism and freedom to express our differing beliefs. In my opinion,  the continued knee-jerk prejudice in place of attempts at education about others is un-American.
The eyes and actions are truly mirrors of one's soul.  We must stop mindless hero (and clergy) worship, as well as knee-jerk prejudices. My prayer for Pentecost is that we learn to see the humanity beneath the skin, headgear, uniform, occupation, profession, and religious words.