Spirit of Life,
You who urge the spring salmon upstream
and the geese back to their nesting grounds:
There is so much pain in our world.
It is tempting to shut our eyes
and shut our hearts
just so we can survive.
But what the world needs
is for us to keep them open.
Help us keep our eyes open
to the suffering we see.
Grant us the strength
not to turn away,
but to move toward
those beings and places
where our love is most needed.
Help us open our hearts.
Help us know
that it is when we are most open
to your movement through us
into our beautiful and hurting world
that we will feel the most joy.
Help us open our hearts to joy.
Spirit of Life, Source of all change:
Now is the time when rain follows sun follows rain
wildflowers carpet the grassy meadows
and new leaves of oaks and maples
are tender and lush on the hillsides.
In the river canyons
turkey vultures and hawks
soar high on updrafts
floating past green upon green upon green.
How is it possible that in a world so beautiful,
anyone would choose to harm another soul?
And yet that is the choice we have made.
That is the choice we have allowed.
Help us make a different choice.
Spirit of Life, we struggle with your call
to choose life.
We struggle to preserve and protect
all that is good and beautiful.
We are mired in circumstances
not of our choosing,
and for some of us it takes all we have
just to get through another day.
But we can be stronger than that.
We can be bigger.
Help us know that we can rise up.
Just as the oak tree feels You
rising up through its trunk
and pushing tender new leaves
out into the clear blue sky
Just as the caterpillar feels You
rearranging its molecules
and making from a soupy mess
a gorgeous butterfly
Just as the salmon feels You calling it upstream
the goose feels You calling it home
and the fern feels You uncurling its spiral
If we will open ourselves wide enough
we too will feel Your love and Your call
and we too will rise up
and we will be beautiful and strong
and we will no longer allow harm to be done
in our names.
Spirit of Life, help us rise up.