A Call to Prayer as a Wisdom Collective: A South Bend Parable

Dear Wisdom Community,

I feel like I am caught in what a member of my Law of Three group called “a Parable”. I wonder if others might be called to meet me here in service of, oh, maybe nothing less than …Wisdom in our nation.

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Call it the South Bend, Indiana Parable, which this week is a story of a police shooting, white on black, that occurred right down the street from where I live. And, this HAPPENS to come in the middle of our mayor, Pete Buttigieg’s, booming presidential campaign and thus it becomes a national story, which of course it already is. Our local story=our national story. For background see my blog of this morning, Violence, Racism, and Presidential Politics.

My Law of Three group helped me see the triangle, and with the triangle, the possibility of “new arising.” Affirming force: the cries, the screams for justice. Denying force: the FUTILITY of all efforts so far on the part of the mostly white establishment at correcting either overt or underlying problems and so the violence (white on black, black on black etc.) keeps happening and even escalating.

I told the Law of Three group that the only thing the hundreds who gathered at the town hall meeting Sunday night had in common was helplessness. We were in collective pain and helplessness, whether we were sitting quietly and watching or standing and screaming or calmly fielding questions and trying to answer them. Mayor Pete said this himself and it was true.candle in hands

The Law of Three group said, maybe this helplessness, maybe the space everybody made for it, was Third Force….IS Third Force. Maybe it is only out of our collective helplessness that the new thing can arise.


This is a Parable of racism and power but there are other Parables all around us, on this the morning of the first presidential debates, Wednesday and Thursday night this week, 9:00 – 11:00 pm EST. So many impasses. So much space to be created to hold our helplessness. What new arisings can happen? Will we recognize them if they do?

Here is the invitation my little Law of Three group extends to our Wisdom community: will some of you hold this space with us for minutes or an hour or so, whatever you can manage, before each of the debates this week? Say from around 8 – 9:00 pm eastern.


Holding space for our emptiness, our helplessness. Holding space in service of new arisings.

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Nina, a member of this Law of Three group and a retired clergy, adds this invitation from the Lectionary text from this past week: 1 Kings 19:11-12

19:11 (THE ANGEL OF THE LORD) said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake;

19:12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence.

And from the Gospel of Thomas Logion 17:

Yeshua says…

What your own eyes cannot see,
your human ears do not hear,
your physical hands cannot touch,
and what is inconceivable to the human mind–
that I will give to you!

Marcella, facilitator of this Law of Three group adds:

Might we come together as a WISDOM COLLECTIVE to PRAY, to CHANT, to HOLD THE STILL POINT of the TURNING WORLD…even while our nation ‘spins’. May this chant (The Still point of the Turning world…) and the movements that accompany it companion us as we collectively pray.

May this song “BE Still and know that ALL is God”…also deeply companion us:

Paulette Meier also offers a profound and timely chant: https://paulettemeier.bandcamp.com/track/this-present-time


Carmen, a member of this Law of Three group, also clergy, invited Nancy to ‘raise her voice high’ and own the strength of her ‘call to Civil engagement as a contemplative woman leader’….


Three quotes to sustain our prayer:

Whoever makes all cares into a single care, the care for simply being present, will be relieved of all care by that Presence, which is the creative power.

(We can take a step back from the world of attraction, comparison, and dependence on externals, remember this vitality within us, and connect with it. Perhaps then we can be liberated form our compulsions and can learn to act through Spirit, rather than through or limited egos.)
~ Kabir Helminski (Living Presence, p. 26)


Be helpless, be dumbfounded, unable to say yes or no, then a stretcher will come from grace and gather us up. ~ Rumi


As we learn to open ourselves deeply to this mysterious Source, help will always come, for the Source “leans and harkens towards us” with a tenderness of love that is both the medium and the message.
~Cynthia Bourgeault

Nancy, Nina, Marcella and Carmen are part of a Law of Three midwife group initiated by Marcella Kraybill-Greggo at the Law of Three as Spiritual Practice Wisdom School Marcella led in January. They felt a calling to share with the Wisdom Community what was arising in their group and invite others to join them in prayer as they hold space for the collective, our emptiness, our helplessness, and new arisings.

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6 thoughts on “A Call to Prayer as a Wisdom Collective: A South Bend Parable

  1. Here I AM on Thursday at 8:15 pm. Sensing the collective awakening arising. Thank you for the opportunity to join in this arising.

  2. Again… thank you for this opportunity… it felt deep last night and I will try and make time to spend time centering again tonight.. Hope others might join this…

  3. I am deeply appreciative of this opportunity to join others (on whatever plane of existence they are at) in this practice of becoming still (or at least .. more still) and making space for new arising. Thank you so much for this invitation… will join you during the time preceding tonight’s debate.

  4. Thank you for this! Yes, I will join you for some period during that hour. May the One who makes all things new have the space and longing for that to occur.

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