prayer for our little blue marble
while inside the walls of this monastery-in-the-making—my humble plot where votives flicker, bells chime on the hour, and a luscious bed of herbs is reaching out its roots—i’ve quieted like never before, quieted in all the nooks and crannies of my soul. my calendar is mostly clear, no longer distracting. i mark time by the shift in light and shadow, burrow into each and every hour for the sacred gift it holds.
and all the while, and especially of late, the cries of the world rage louder and louder. the world it seems is screaming, pleading, breaking down the walls for justice.
there are noises i block out, the noise of protest over masks, the daily idiocy tapped out on twitter or spouted on the west lawn of the people’s house. and there are noises that come raging in, the wail of grief, the undying echo of one man’s last three words, “i can’t breathe.”
i find myself bent low in a necessary posture, the posture of which etty hillesum (the dutch author of confessional letters and diaries of her spiritual awakening who died at auschwitz) once wrote: “a desire to kneel down sometimes pulses through my body, or rather it is as if my body had been meant and made for the act of kneeling. sometimes in moments of deep gratitude, [sometimes in hours of unceasing grief and supplication,] head deeply bowed, hand before my face.” (words inserted from the original).
the desire to kneel—despite protests from my knees, from all the bendable parts of me it seems—is one that’s struck me more and more achingly these recent days.
this old planet—home to majesties and subtleties, home to fjords and old-growth forests, home to dripping caves and flower-stitched meadows, birthplace to billions and billions, graveyard to them all—it’s aching and convulsing. it’s at once stiller than it’s been in years and seething beyond words.
i wake in the deep of night, and in echo of the ancient monastic practice of keeping prayerful watch through the hours when the world’s asleep, i add my whisper to the angels’ chorus.
dear holy God, save us. dear holy God, make us instruments of your peace. dear holy God, where there is injustice, let us sow the seeds of what will grow toward certain, lasting justice. dear holy God, let us be the makers of your peace. and shake this broken world of each and every speck of vile hate and horror.
my words feel futile soon as the whisper spills across my lips. but when they rise up from the pit of my heart and soul, especially in the deep dark of night, they’re the surest thing i know. they’re all i’ve got. and so i give them….
what prayer do you pray for this aching planet?
Thank you for these beautiful words that touched me so deeply this morning – I am humbled and find peace in them as I start another day – these are such troubling times – thank you for helping me through them …peace
bless YOU, and thank you…<3
I’m so glad you are still able to find words. Mine are locked up in hopelessness. I simply do not understand how people can be so hateful. And I do not understand the continued lack of justice in this country, where people of color are continually marginalized and murdered and nothing changes! I look at our country’s history, at the world’s history, and I think, we’re right where we were millennia ago, divided, filled with hate, and at war. My only prayer is just Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, God have mercy … it’s all I can manage.
where words fail, prayer picks up………
sending love to soften the silence between words…..
In the same darkness of night where you whisper your prayer as well as at those times of bended knee, my prayer is simple. It has become more so as life has become so complicated and unfamiliar. It is the only comfort that eases the tightness of worry, fear, anxiety, and doubt felt throughout my body. I pray with certainty and trust; Oh Holy One, Oh Spirit of Life, Oh Breath of Life, Thy will be done. May it be enough.
So so beautiful….
I’m not sure where I first discovered this prayer, but in moments like these I seek it out.
Prayer For The World by Rabbi Harold Kushner
“Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations. Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect. Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows. Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly. So that we see each other clearly. So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color. Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness. So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors. And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors. Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty. And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Amen.”
ohhhhhhhhhhhh! this is so beautiful, and so perfect. and of course it comes from Rabbi Kushner. bless you and thank you for bringing it here to this table, which over the years has become such a compendium for and of prayer…….i love this. and am so grateful i will now always know where to find it.
bless you so much. xoxox
B thank you for your tireless and compassionate and victorious endeavor to BRING IT. To the table—“the sound of people mustering language in its highest forms for the largest civilizational ends.” I pulled up a chair with heartaches AND YOU BROUGHT IT : TO THE TABLE. You have ears to hear. AMEN! You learned I believe in the womb TO HEAR WITH YOUR HEART. Yes you brought to the table
an abundance of singular voices—you auditioned each one and discerned with your heart which ones TO BRING. Took us by the hand and introduced us to “the sound of people mustering language”.
god we have fallen stunningly short of your vision for mankind. forgive me for this and forgive my brothers and sisters everywhere for otherism, for investing our lives in building arrogant walls when we ought to follow your blueprints to erect more doors and windows and let your light shine in and the o2 of your spirit. give us eye transplants to see the vast e pluribus in the unum—your heartfelt desire to express THE ONE – you! IN THE WARP AND WEFT of many many many colors shapes et al yeshua you not only created black horses and chestnut and white you make frickin z e b r a s white horses with black racing stripes or are they black with…! help us learn to come to you papa w your compassion your will your kingdom in the name of jesus who never sinned and yet suffered perfect injustice for all of our selfish failings. so be it.
stunningly short, indeed. but thank God for the pilgrims who march on, undeterred. your pain is palpable, and i am grateful it finds some measure of balm here where good and gentle people have been gathering for years now. xoxoxox