Moments: In The Space Of One Breath, One Heartbeat

The Rev. Gayanne Frater

7 June 2020

Moments:  In The Space Of One Breath, One Heartbeat

In the dark of many nights hallowed out by the silence in my heart, and in the now shadowed light of the hope of Pentecost where we celebrate the giving of the breath/spirit of God so we may have life - a prayer emerged from the depth of my being. I share it with you in the hope that it may find an echo in your heart, ease spirit-ache and help us breathe a little easier in this time.                                                                              

In the light of Pentecost,
in the shadow of inexplicable horror,
the sanctity of life,
this gift of breath
which belongs to no-one and everyone,
ceased in the space of a single heartbeat
despite a voice that pleaded to be heard.
George Floyd, loved son and father died.

I offer these prayers and reflection,
in the light of truth
in the spark of life,
in the hope of change,
in dark shadow of this grievous injustice.

In silence, let us breathe
               In and out
                          In and out
                                      In and out

and as we do,
let us give thanks for our breath
for spirit,
for life,
for the sound of our heartbeat
for the safety of living in bodies coloured white,
Let us be deeply mindful of all who are not,
for whom living their God-given life is a risky undertaking,
overshadowed by fear.

God of infinite mercy,
We weep when holy text is used to deny others’ breath.
open our eyes, our ears, our hearts
to the truth that for you,
love without justice, is not love at all.
When holy word is conscripted
to deny breath and support the loss of life,
remind us that your holy texts speak more about justice
than they ever do of love.
Love without just-living, is not love.
Give us courageous hearts to love and live justly,
so we might join with you in co-creating a world
where all lives matter,
and the breath of 'one'
is valued as highly as the breath of many.

God whose spirit enlivens and sustains all life
May justice roll down like a river.

God of infinite mercy whose love is embedded in justice,
as embers of anger are fanned into flame
for this sacred Black life deprived of spirit-breath,
we give thanks that anger is an appropriate first response
to such grievous wrongdoing,
but God, let it not be the last response.
May the energy of fiery anger,
burning from within ancient cauldrons
of inter-generational memory,
be harnessed and do no harm,
especially for those most harmed at this time.
Instead may all anger serve as catalysts of empowerment,
sparking a raft of creative ways worldwide for us
to engage in effective subversive non-violent action;
the kind of action that turns the tide,
and ushers in irrevocable change for good,
and enables all whose breath is held in,
for fear of being noticed, be released.
Fire our imaginations,
enliven us to act courageously in solidarity
so we may all live and breathe without fear
from this day onwards.
Help us be the change we want to see.

God whose spirit enlivens and sustains all life
May justice roll down like a river.

God of infinite mercy,
We hold before you:

                all whose breath does not come easily,
               whose breath is too slow, fast, or shallow,
               or is held suspended by fear.

We hold before you:

                all who struggle to breath in and out with ease.

We give thanks for all who work tirelessly
to relieve their distress,
ease their struggle
and soften their pain so life is sustained.

We pray, also for those who are close to death in this hour,
and ask that your compassionate presence will,
in the space of their last in-breath and heartbeat,
carry them with great tenderness
from life through in death to life.

God whose spirit enlivens and sustains all life
May justice roll down like a river.

God of infinite mercy
Infuse us with you spirit,
breathe in us,
through us,
around us
and energize us to do the work you call us today.
May we be bearers of your holy just-love,
holding hope for those who have none
until they do.

We ask this in the name of your Son,
who hung on a cross,
and yielded his last painful breath to death,
knowing that his death would bring breath and life to all.
May it be so.

©The Rev. Gayanne Frater, Hospital Chaplain, Counsellor, Supervisor, Spiritual Companion
4 June 2020
Image Holy Fire, Gayanne Frater