Oh God, deep in our bones, we know that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all of creation, will be able to separate us from Your love.

But God, what do we do in the wake of mass shootings?

What about racism and transphobia and violence to bodies?

What about death penalties, O God?

And what about hunger and food deserts?

What about ecological devastation?

How long, Oh Lord, how long shall we wait in our lament?

Where does Your love manifest itself?

Where can Your mercies each morning be found?

O God, as difficult as it might be, sometimes, I suspect that our neighbors are some of the closest ways that we have of experiencing Your love.

We know what Your love is like, O God, because we learn it from each other.

We learn it from accompaniment. We learn it from hugs. We learn it by forgiving each other. We learn it by refusing to believe fantasies and stereotypes about one another. We learn it from giving each other cups of cold water. We learn it by visiting prisoners. We learn it from linking arms on the protest line. We learn it from continually gathering around a table with love and persistence. We learn it from welcoming everyone to the table, even our enemies.

Yes, You gather us in and You say: love Me, and love your neighbor, love yourself. For it is by your love that people will know Me.

And little by little, we start to see— to know— to really believe, deep in our bones, that it is actually true— that nothing can separate us from Your love.

Not death, nor life, nor our enemies, nor our mistakes, nor our shame, nor rotten power systems, nor injustices… nothing will be able to separate us from Your love.

For this, O God, how can we keep from singing?