The Work of the People

JUL 13, 2016 - Visual Liturgy

I AM Sorry

I AM Sorry by Kelly Hall

This blessing was written with an ancient Hawaiian practice of reconciliation in mind. It is called Ho’oponopono. This practice of reconciliation and forgiveness focuses on taking responsibility for one’s part in any illness. My dad learned it during a work-stay he had a few summers ago on the islands and taught it to me.

Last week, I barely had time to digest any of the horrific events before yet another tragedy occurred. Violences, humans against humans. Regardless of how the facts pan out, people died…they were important, and were taken too soon. Much of the nation is grieving, angry, and hopefully inspired to change. I know that change starts with me.

It starts with each of us doing our own inner work to be willing to let God extend through us.

As I listened in prayer for words of comfort, I began repeating the phrases “I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you.” All four of these phrases ring true for me as a person involved in this story of racism. I have some love to share, some amends to make for not being part of the solution, forgiveness to ask of God and my brothers and sisters of all nationalities, and thankfulness for how their lives enrich and bless mine.

The written prayer used for this film is just an extension of that intention. Interestingly, as many of the benedictory words I write tend to do, the words came through from God’s perspective which I found comforting.

God met me where I was in my prayer, and prayed alongside.

I am sad and sorry for all of the deaths that came from last week, all of the pain, all of the loss. It is my hope that we can reach for and embrace one another and effectively take responsibility while being an active part of the solution. It is not my intention to further injure with these words, but continue to extend love and mercy in troubled times. May God be praying alongside you, alongside all of us. May God continue to teach, heal, dignify, grant peace, and make all things new.

Kelly Hall

I AM sorry, so very sorry.
For every injustice
for blanketed persecution
of fear projected like tattooed targets
on the beautiful skins
I fashioned with My own hands.
For violence against you
for escapes created
to protect or divert attention
from black bodies shot point blank.

Can you stay with me? 
Remain, bear My heart 
and breathe...

there's a lot to feel.

for the senseless deaths,
for the lack of humanity
and the loss of dignity,
I AM sorry.

Please forgive Me 
for violence that happens
for not ending the madness
for the lack of revolution
for broken spirits, arms, legs, lips, irreplaceable holes in families--
for the bloodshed of My children.
Loves of My life...
this is NOT right,
this is NOT Me.
Please, forgive Me.

I love you, 
My image bearers,
just as you are--My reflection on earth.

I continue to work on hearts and minds,
I continue to inspire voices
to heal and forward My principles
of love, compassion, mercy...

For the one humankind I created,
to feel enoughness, 
to be Me-tuned,
To know that I fashioned and adorned 
every skin
every individualequally 
uniqueequally Mine.
I love you.

Thank you,
for risking your lives to magnify My voice on earth
My earthbound choir of angelic proportion...

keep singing!

Know you are worthy,
beauty-filled and dignified in My sight.

For staying faithful,
for believing,
for striving towards the highest good--
for looking for signs of Me
even in your enemy
and especially in the mess,

I AM thankful.

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