Had a disturbing dream last night: I'm swimming in clear blue water and suddenly realize I've crossed into putrid, polluted currents. I can't go back. The only way out is a stairway leading up. To reach it, I'll have to swim through even fouler waters.
It has me ruminating about the Genesis story of Jacob's ladder. You know it: Jacob's camped out running away from his brother Easu, who's furious because Jacob cheated Easu out of the blessing customarily given to first-born sons. With a stone for a pillow, Jacob dreams of a ladder extending to heaven.
In my dream, divine light illuminates the stairway. But when I wake, I'm still floundering in the putrid lake. The heavenly portal is far beyond my reach.
Seems right. Three months into the toxic soup of an epidemic that's unmasked the deadliest, most corrosive sins of our nation, many of us glimpse the possibility for transformation, but we're flailing in the quest. Question is, can we summon the determination and fortitude to climb redemption's ladder?
"Divine courage must supplant fear before we are equal to facing the consequences of our self-centered thoughts and to taking up the task of harmonizing all our forces," Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore writes interpreting Jacob's reconciliation with Esau. It takes Jacob six chapters, many years, and a wrestling bout with an angel before he's able to claim his blessing.
May we summon the courage to unflinchingly face the consequences of our conscious and unconscious racist actions. May we humbly release any belief that we can ever be separate from God or one another. And may we create a more just and equitable world for all.