Have you ever read Ellen Bass’ poem Pray for Peace? If not, please click and enjoy. It inspired today’s post, first drafted in May, but seemingly more apropos on this first day of summer. But this Summer Solstice seems different. Surely it must be, with wails of crying children echoing across the land; yet another reminder that the divide between human beings walking the earth is vast and wide.
‘What is mine to do?’ It’s a question I seem to ask myself daily. Children, scared and crying. Frantic parents separated from their children, unknowing how they are, where they are. I have called my senators and donated to a reputable fund. Policies are changing, though so many lives have already been affected. Thoughts and prayers can sometimes be lip service, but I still believe in their power.
And I still believe that we are all more alike than different. At least in desires: to love and be loved, to be free, to feed our families, to know good health, to laugh, to dream and to live out those dreams.
In the church I belong to, we pray affirmatively – believing that the solution exists before the question is even asked. And that which we focus on, we attract more of.
So, I offer this prayer, believing in the rights for all people to experience goodness – knowing it for all of us. Knowing we can find a better, common way.
Pray for me. Pray for you.
Pray for freedom and common sense,
To be seen, to be heard, and for a better today than yesterday.
Pray for clean water, safety and a bed to sleep in, off the floor.
Pray for reunion and healing.
But remember to pray for silliness, too. For puppy breath and tacos.
For ice cream and messy faces. For squeals of laughter.
For cool spring-fed swimming holes and the stately Great Blue Heron.
Pray for sunset to match the sunrise.
And for all the drivers vying for space and time on I-4.
Pray for the ears of the construction workers listening to the incessantly high-pitched pounding.
Pray for safe travels, and whiskers. For cashews and apples.
Pray for organic greens, and the farmers who get it done without pesticides.
Pray for romance and waffles, sometimes with chicken.
Pray for cities with song, like New Orleans and Nashville and Memphis.
Pray for old homes with good bones, and the ones that see their potential – like a fortune teller seeing into the future.
Pray for old friends, comfy like well-worn slippers.
Pray for new friends, bright like a new outfit on the first day of school.
Pray for strangers, and look for the angels among us.
Pray for money, and all the good you’ll do with it.
Pray for light in the room, in the world, and in your mind.
Pray to let go, and all that you let go of, blessing whatever it brought into your life.
Pray for candlelight, soft music and tender turns on the kitchen’s dance floor.
Pray for deep sleep with great dream adventures – the kind where you soar to new lands.
Bless colors, like orange, deep purple and turquoise green.
Give deep bows for yoga and stretching, and all that works itself out of your body and soul as you practice.
Praise strawberries and peaches.
Worship the sound of the surf rolling into the shore.
Take communion in the buffet line and at the table, licking fingers and savoring juicy flavors rolling past your tongue.
Savor skin, sun-drenched and stretched tight by time immersed in salty water.
Commune with the itty-bitty fishes nibbling on your ankles, the crab scurrying along the sand, the flock of sandpipers swaying here and there.
Let the wind whip your hair, close your eyes and listen.
Rejoice for this is life – messy, sacred, succulent, marvelous;
heartbreaking, worry-infused, and showing up in you, as you, day after day.
In her, in him, in me.
Pray, for us all.