“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”Ezekiel 36:26
“History, despite its wrenching pain / Cannot be unlived, but if faced / With courage, need not be lived again.”Maya Angelou from her poem On the Pulse of Morning
Dr. Robert Michael Franklin, Jr., American author, theologian, ordained minister, and President Emeritus of Morehouse College, in his July 12, Chautauqua lecture shared his image of the USA’s 250th birthday. His vision for 2026 is that all of our people and all of our stories will be present. No person will be left out and no story will go untold. This is a powerful visual. It speaks to what is needed, indeed, what is necessary for the spiritual well-being of our country and for us as individuals.
I have sat in many circles over the years where those gathered opened their hearts and told the truth about their lives. Through the tears, anger, fears, and laughter, healing took place. That was possible because every single person was heard, understood, valued, and embraced in love. The assembled souls never asked of themselves or of others, “What’s wrong with you?” Instead, each one in turn was tenderly held with, “What happened to you? Our hearts can hear you.” Maya Angelou’s poetic clarity voices the power of facing our individual and cultural past with courage. We learn. We expand our spiritual understanding. We are freed from endless repetition of hurt. We are instead propelled into the divine creative process that brings forth a more loving respectful world.
We are one with the upward progressive movement of life as Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore loved to say. That movement obliges us to become more honest, more authentic, more aware, more open. Standing witness to one another’s lives is what God asks us to do. It is the only act that truly reveals how it is that all people are expressions of God, that we are One. The Hebrew prophet Ezekiel brought this assurance, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Even now this precious gift is being bestowed in each of us. God invites us to receive it.
In the Love and Light of the Risen Christ,