Compassion: Orlando • From Sacred Space, Tucson

by Rev. Teresa Cowan Jones,
Director, Sacred Space

We mourn the loss of life of our brothers and sisters in Orlando and hold hope for healing and love for all the victims and their families and friends. May we all hold tight to the universal value of compassion, especially for the marginalized, and reach out to each other and to the source of life -- the ground of all being, however you define it -- for support in our grief.

I hear responses to this tragedy that seem to force a choice between love and accountability. We can hold these together; love provides both the means and the end.

We stand with the LGBTQ+ people and all those who are oppressed in the work of both love and justice, which must go together for either to have meaning.

We invite all to reclaim public space as safe space for human feeling and connection and to do so because, and not in spite of, our differences. Together only will we find our way to both honor the rich uniqueness of our cultures and wisdom traditions and celebrate our oneness as humanity. It’s OK that we don’t know how just yet. We will make mistakes but with the goal of compassion, we can stumble together to find our way to a new way of living and being together in which all beings are honored and have dignity.

Hate crimes and terrorist activity demand that we come together in love and solidarity. In Sacred Space this week, we’ll look with new eyes at the sayings of Jesus to help us stay sure-footed in both compassion and justice. We need not let beliefs, religions, race, gender or sexual orientation separate us anymore. We can be one.

May we all love, together, now.  May we focus on our unity and strength and continue to draw encouragement from each other in and for the creation of beloved community.  Let us look at our collective human heritage of the world’s wisdom traditions to teach us a new path.  Let us get to know the stranger – the seeming other – in a way that heals the human species and the planet.

May we let our collective and rightful outrage fuel the changes for which we can no longer wait or assign to someone else. May we all feel now and act now.