If We Create the Future in the Present

By Rabbi Arthur Waskow
wooden star of david with hebrew words shma yisrael (hear, O Israel) against green background of leaves/stems appearing to be in a forest

Noon January 20: If we create the future in the present, the One from the differences that we can fit together —

Barukh atah YHWH elohenu ruakh ha’olam, sheh’hekhianu v’kimanu v‘higianu lazman hazeh.

Blessed are you, breath of life, creative energy within us and beyond us, Interbreathing Spirit of the universe, who has filled us with life, lifted us up, and carried us to this moment.

How do we unite the new President’s call for Unity we heard this noontime with the outcry for justice, for equality, for truth, for a healing peace not only with each other human beings but also with Earth that sustains all life – when so many among us doubt or decry those very values?

Through action. Through making the future in the present.

As the reality of broadened health care convinced those who had denounced the law that made it happen when it still was merely words on paper ...

As the presence of a gay or lesbian son or daughter gentled many a family that had raged against the blurring of the genders ...

As worshipping next to a Jew or a Muslim, as silently meditating alongside a Hindu or a Buddhist, had opened the hearts of many who had thought the Other mere idolators ...

As moving their bodies to jazz or mastering words of spoken Spanish had shattered centuries of fear or hatred ...

So the presence in every neighborhood of solar and wind co-ops, shaped by the neighbors down the block or in the nearest farm-house, can convince the people who had denounced the global-scorching science as a hoax.

So playing in real life the ecological game of jigsaw puzzle can teach us that the very fact of our differences can become the facts that make it possible for us to fit together in a community, a One.

If we choose, if we act, if we enact the practices and laws that allow us to fit ourselves together. If we steadfastly refuse to be enemies without compromising our hope to be our fullest selves.

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