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This week, we were visited by two immigrant families and their small children. The children were hungry, and one of the mothers confided that their household was struggling to put food on the table. We offered the children a snack and, as we were slicing bagels and cheese at the tall kitchen table, three little sets of huge, brown eyes – barely high enough to see over the table – watched the food preparation seriously and with longing.

Today, during the meditation portion of morning prayer, I opened my eyes for a moment and saw a friend’s face lifted up, rather than bowed, as she prayed.   I thought of those hungry children – their upturned, serious and hopeful faces – and my own deep pleasure in preparing something they needed and were asking for.

I am not sure how prayer works honestly, or if it “works” at all in the way we might think, but this seems like a good posture to take regardless – watching and hopeful, honest in your longing and need.

The prayer this morning was lovely, too – from John O’Donohue:


Somewhere, out at the edges, the night
Is turning and the waves of darkness
Begin to brighten the shore of dawn.
The heavy dark falls back to earth
And the freed air goes wild with light,
The heart fills with fresh, bright breath
And thoughts stir to give birth to colour.


I arise today

In the name of Silence
Womb of the Word,
In the name of Stillness
Home of Belonging,
In the name of the Solitude
Of the Soul and the Earth.

I arise today

Blessed by all things,
Wings of breath,
Delight of eyes,
Wonder of whisper,
Intimacy of touch,
Eternity of soul,
Urgency of thought,
Miracle of health,
Embrace of God.

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart,
Gentle in word,
Gracious in awareness,
Courageous in thought,
Generous in love.