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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Jin Lee

Single Garment

At the dawning of this new day adding to these uncertain days, I pause to let my feet sink onto the still sodden soil of Dr. King’s wisdom words:

All this is simply to say that all life is interrelated.

We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality; 

tied in a single garment of destiny. 

Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. 

–Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

He went on to offer a heuristic metaphor: The person who receives a clean bill of health from the finest clinic in America cannot be totally healthy, if diseases are rampant and those who suffer from illness cannot receive care.

Contending for the inextricable link between the individual and the world of which she exists, the principal context of Dr. King’s pursuit was correcting our myopic perception of wealth and poverty as individual lots. The illness metaphor, of course, does not remain conceptual for the ones with muddy feet considering these particular days.

As the global pandemic impresses its threat and charge upon our view of ourselves, we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, a single garment that tears and heals. Threads loosening and fraying faster than we can hold them in. And yet, our holding together, even if at first driven by self-preservation, is what we must do with unyielding intention—with love.

Every fiber is strength to the rugged beauty of our collection. There will be tearing; there will be healing. In the days before us, we must honor one another with holy regard and render reverence for life, for every life.

And those among us entrusted with faith shall heed the charge of these uncertain days.

With my feet planted on the damp earth, held up by her warm strength, I begin this day presenting our requests to God.


So much suffering

So many in need


Pain and death

Suspicion and fear.

Grant wisdom and counsel

Insight and action.

Healer and provider,

Supplier of need,

Have mercy on your beloved,

the world you so love.

Comforter and protector,

Ever present help,

Have mercy on those who suffer

On those in great need

On those in great service;

Grant them generously

what is needed 

what is desired

what is prayed



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