In whose image we are all created,
You have taught us to see Your face
And sense your presence in all of Your children.
There are times when conflict that divides people
Ideological and geographically
Prevents us from truly seeing those who may seem to oppose us
As our brothers and sisters.
Nevertheless, help us to remember that we are brothers and sisters, even when we disagree,
Or when we find ourselves on opposite sides of a dispute or a war.
From recent events in Florida, in France, and in other places around the world,
We know that one individual’s idea of how to live out an ideology
Or how to provide proper neighborhood protection
Can shatter the peace that we strive so hard to preserve.
It is fear of the unknown, of difference, of the stranger, that leads human beings to commit acts of violence that often cannot be taken back.
Teach us to apply the lessons of the Exodus experience every day, to remember the feelings of the stranger because we were strangers in Egypt.
Enable us to reach out to would-be foes, as did one Israeli couple who successfully reached over the wall between Israel and Iran to share thoughts on politics, on personal connection, and on peace that could exist if only the proper context could be created.
Where there is not yet peace, be with the families of those who have died, and strengthen our ability to offer them comfort that will lead to a determination to step across lines that divide.
Where there is or can be peace, grant us the wisdom to replace fear with understanding, hatred with love and concern, strict justice with tender mercy, oppression with freedom, and closed eyes with a vision of the unity that rests within your Oneness, which touches us all.