Sleepless in Hacienda Heights

Sleepless in Hacienda Heights

Moonrise over Hacienda Heights

2:28 A.M.

I wonder how many of us have been awake at night, this night, worried about the turmoil happening in our Country. Covid -19 ravaged our Country like a plague of locusts. And before it has finished its’ cruel savagery, this week its’ devastation has been trumped by the cold-hearted murder of George Floyd.

Deep division, raging anger, ceaseless worry and deep despair shroud our Country like heavy toxic smog on a hot humid summer day. “I can’t breathe.”

“Enough. We have had enough!” We shout. We cry. We protest. We blame. We watch. Furiously.

On such an evening, when sleep doesn’t come, and worry creeps into my soul, I feel helpless to do anything. I suddenly recall a prayer from my youth that seems most fitting. We used to sing it at Church. “How did those words go?” That prayer contains an answer.

I dip into memory and slowly shards of words from that prayer, like a mosaic that will reveal a future scene, come to mind: “Hatred.” “Love.” “Darkness.” “Light.” “Despair.” “Hope.”

Words played out throughout the ages, and again, now, in civil unrest. Transformation. The desire of any discord. Doesn’t it start from within?

I get out of bed. I google the prayer. I copy it here for you, for anyone, who, like me, is not sleeping, is worrying, or angry, or crying, or protesting tonight.

It is the Prayer of St. Francis.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.


A new dawn

After a dark night a new dawn follows.

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