The Reverend Dr. William J. Barber II joined The Nation for a weekly virtual series. As the conversation wrapped up, he shared this prayer.

May we come to know justice and compassion and repent for those who have let the viruses of greed and lies make this situation worse. May we come to know pandemics spread through the wounds and fissures of our society, and seek to close them. May those who’ve gone along with the lies just to please narcissism break free and tell the truth.

May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake. May we who have no risk factors remember those most vulnerable. May we have the necessary righteous indignation in this moment to fight for transformation. May we who have the luxury of working from home remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent. May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools are closed remember those who have no option. 

May we who have to cancel our trips remember those who have no safe place to go. May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market remember those who have no margins at all. May we who settle in for a quarantine at home remember those who have no home. As fear grips our country, may we be the kind of people who stand up and who refuse to lay down. May we choose love.

During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other, let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God for our neighbors. And let us recognize that we cannot give up in this moment, and no matter what it takes; let it at least be written down in history that with our last breaths we fought for the world that ought to be.

This prayer was written by Cameron Bellm.