Left Justified: Happy New Year

Here is a prayer for the new year. It is a prayer that goes out to my Lord, your God, our leaders, the world’s Creator, the universe, all good spirits, a Higher Power and our better nature.

We pray for peace. I pray that people who are armed and bent on killing each other will find it in their hearts to recognize the human spirit in their so-called enemies. I pray they lay down their arms and make peace.

Let us pray we erase racism. I pray that the rich will stop being so greedy and give most of what they own to the poor and needy of the world. And that scientists will figure out how to heal the infirm and prolong our lives while making it more comfortable on this earth. I pray that we one day can free the addict, figure out what makes the body crave certain things in certain people, and help find strength to overcome addictions; especially the addiction of materialism and over-consumption.

For we who consume a large percent of the world’s products can use a good dose of restraint. I pray that TV executives will put intelligent entertainment on the airwaves so people learn to be kind to one another and live a good life.

May the earth’s resources be conserved and shared justly.

And I know we all hope and pray that no child will ever be deprived of the necessities of life and that predation and abuse will cease.

Doing something is so easy, saving a little energy here, recycling some products there, not overeating, overspending nor overkilling. May we find the courage of our convictions before our sins convict us.

I must say a prayer for my new office on Seventh Street, give thanks for the wonderful customers at our fair trade store, and hope and pray for the much-maligned drug outreach program: may they find a home. Quickly. Because it is cold outside.

It would be wonderful if the God who created us all could come down to this earth and physically remind us that we should not kill each other, that we should love one another and care for the least, that feeding the poor, sheltering the homeless and educating the illiterate are things that we must do.

Of course, if God did return to this planet, I’m sure half of the religious leaders would try to string Him up again. So I pray for our salvation, or at least a glimmer of hope that we won’t blow ourselves up. Have yourself a happy new year.

Stanley Campbell is executive director of Rockford Urban Ministries and spokesman for Rockford Peace & Justice.

From the Dec. 28, 2005-Jan. 3, 2006, issue

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