Thank you to Congregation B’nai Israel of Vallejo for inviting me to read this poem at Rainbow Shabbat as an alternative Aleinu prayer on June 12, 2020.
There are Seven Blessings at the End of the Rainbow by D.L. Lang I tiptoed through the wildfires of my youth as my fellow humans treated me with cruelty, and as it burned, it is there I found my voice, learning compassion for all humanity, daring not to emulate those who declared me their enemy. They seemed to revel in their daily hatred, taking aim and making threats. I’d done nothing wrong, but they chose to condemn me when I had no choice. Hiding their venomous hatred behind words of faith, their lips repeating as much gossip as their gospel, their self-righteousness lead them to commit acts of violence that they justified in the name of a man who taught love. Beneath the lonely sting of slurs and rocks, praying for mercy as my body tumbled to the ground, it is there I heard the holiest of sounds: a people enrobed in rainbows, fighting for the freedom to love. If you’ve been walking through the darkness, may you become awash in infinite blessings of love, so that your spirit may again rise up towards the light. May shame become an unwelcome stranger in our hearts, washed away by a healing tide of pride that empowers us all to freely be whomever we are inside. May the love we make fill this world with compassion and kindness until hatred has no room to grow in our neighbor’s hearts. May these numerous pathways in which love manifests within us bring us closer toward the better world for which we all yearn, a world of acceptance where all may exist without fear. May we awaken each day with renewed strength to stand up for what is right and make that world a reality. May we all join together in solidarity with our brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings for our collective love is more powerful than hatred. May you all be sheltered and comforted by God’s rainbow above for at the end of any rainbow there is only abounding love.