Be the change

Spirit of my longing heart, help me to become a force of history. Like a drop of water let me merge and mingle in the currents of my particular time and situation and not hold back, but join what nurtures the earth and soaks the seeds of justice and peace. Let me be the flash point where the light begins to travel at great speed, igniting compassion, that others might see the power of goodness. Let me rush with the winds of change across the desolate plains of greed and selfish desire. Grant me the wisdom to know that the winds of eternal hope blow through my words and deeds. Let me join the sky with its watchful eye and be a witness to life affirmations wherever I see them. Give me the strength to say yes to even the smallest act of mercy. With these powers of earth, of light, of wind, of sky, I will change myself and become a gift of love and power to the story of humankind.
–Stephen Shick in Be the Change: Poems, Prayers, and Meditations for Peacemakers and Justice Seekers

As I clean out my desktop, files, and binders during my Facebook-off retreat, I’m uncovering many gems that I’ve saved to remember. This prayer above is one that I’m “saving” via this blog, rather than continue to store the paper on which it was written. I love prayers like this–written in broad, sweeping language that encompasses any manner of belief systems and that calls upon the natural world and our inherent sense of the mystery and magic of being alive with a sense of reverence and the sacred.

Right after typing this up, I came across a quote by Rachel Carson in Alexandra Stoddard’s Gracious Living in a New World: “What is the value of preserving and strengthening this sense of awe and wonder, this recognition of something beyond the boundaries of human existence? …Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”


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