This weekend, the news was oddly dominated by stories on the followers of Harold Camping, a Christian fundamentalist radio preacher and the president of Family Radio who had used his airwaves pulpit to convince many people that the Rapture would occur on May 21, 2011 and that the earth would be destroyed on October 21st. Of course, the Rapture never occurred and business goes on as per usual.
The thing, though, is that even though there’s a part of me that’s gleefully joining the “I told you so” crowd, most of me is so sorry for the people who believed this preacher so fully that they damaged their families and friendships and–in some cases–spent or gave away all the money they had. Though I think that this level of devotion is probably very regrettable in this circumstance, I also think that it is truly a beautiful thing to be able to believe something so wholeheartedly that you can allow yourself to wreak that kind of damage. I’m not sure I would have that kind of belief about anything, and maybe I’m missing out on a valued part of the human experience because of that.
It’s because of this and because I see so many in the Pagan and Pagan-friendly communities being so, well, mean to these people that I rejoiced when I noticed this thoughtful, compassionate prayer on the Strategic Sorcery Blog. I actually prayed, it moved me so…which is why I repost it here.
In the name of the uncreated and aboriginal truth
I pray for those who waited and expected a rapture that did not come.
Many of us mocked them, and rightly so
for humor can be a powerful teacher
and behind our mockery was a desire to lift a veil of ignorance and deception.
Still, most of us would be lying if we believed that we had never held false hopes or believed in something foolish.
Especially those of us who call ourselves mages and witches.
Many of us have at times clung too tightly to a teacher, or a belief, or a theory
Only to have the rug pulled out from under our feet,
feeling foolish for our past positions.
Now that the event has come and gone let our mockery turn to compassion.
Let us lift our voices in prayer and our wands in power.
May those that foolishly spent their life savings on a dream unfulfilled
Know that they were not the first to do so.
May they recover their wealth quickly
and use the opportunity to re-build their lives closer to their ideals.
May those that feel anger at their leader
Know that they are not the first to do so
and use the opportunity to transform their anger into discriminating wisdom
May those that lost their faith
Know that they are not the first to do so.
May they hold on to that part of their spirit
that hoped for something brighter
was devoted to something greater than themselves,
and was steadfast in the face of ridicule and adversity.
May those that are humbled by the experience
hold on to that humility and let it open them to new ideas.
May their families and friends express compassion
May we all offer them solice and sanctuary.
May they realize that the kingdom of God is within them
May they realize the true meaning of Christs Gnosis.
And May they work to attain the perfect peace here on earth,
that they sought in heaven.
PS: May they feel free to join us in mocking the New Agers in December 2012!