Giver of peace, I pray for an end to war, but there can be none without living for peace. I pray for peace in the world, but there can be none without peace in the nations. I pray for peace in the nations, but there can be none without peace in the communities. I pray for peace in the communities, but there can be none without peace between neighbors. I pray for peace between neighbors, but there can be none with peace in the home. I pray for peace in the home, but there can be none without peace in the heart. Give peace to my heart this day O God and when the fighting of this world overwhelms me, let me know that peace begins with me. –Tess Ward
I love this above prayer. Perhaps because it is a prayer of balance. All the pieces have to be healed in order for the whole big picture to be healed. Sometimes, we get stuck in the bigger pieces of the prayer: war, the world, and nations…
Sometimes, we get stuck in the smaller pieces of the prayer: home and family.
Our picture is either too big and we’re trying to fix big, giant things without fixing the middle or bottom pieces and we become unbalanced.
Or our picture is too small. We are so focused on taking care of ourselves, that we’ve forgotten there’s a big world out there of other people: neighbors, communities, nations…
How do we cultivate balance? We start with what’s speaking the loudest, perhaps. Or, maybe what we have influence over. Remembering that when we heal something, or begin to heal something, we have the ability to step a little wider and help heal the next levels.
We may start with the closer stuff, if it’s broken. We have the most influence over those things nearest to us. Perhaps there is something broken in our own hearts? How do we heal that?
Perhaps we have a relationship that’s broken in friend and neighbor or work (I count this as our neighbors). How do we heal that?
Perhaps we have a community that has broken pieces. How do we heal that?
Nations and the world? That is beyond my scope. But it’s not beyond the scope of everyone. How do we heal that?
I have lots of questions this morning.
We heal the nation and the world by supporting our community, our people, that do that bigger work. We do big work by doing small work. In our hearts. In our homes. In our neighborhood (pot luck anyone). In our communities.
We do or support those doing the bigger work by continuing to heal where we are able. To offer kindness and truth in the world around us. Building a good foundation where we are. There are a lot MORE of bottom pieces and they make up the bigger pieces. Imagine if we were all healed in heart and soul? All of us. The rest would just fall into place. Why wouldn’t we start close to home? And spread it?
The other thing about this poem is that you cannot be whole with broken pieces. For one part to be well, all parts must be well. It’s like the heart and body and mind…you can’t be whole in one place while the others is/are broken. It’s all interconnected.
Our world is interconnected.
It’s impossible to have real peace in your neighborhood when your home is broken. It’s impossible to have a peaceful neighborhood in a fighting community. You can fix the pieces you are able to and it spreads from there.
Healthy home spreads to the neighborhood.
Healthy neighborhoods make up healthy communities.
Heathy communities make up a healthy nation. A healthy nations. A healthy world. A world without war.
We can do good work at home. And it matters.
We may not know what to do about nations and the world and war, but we can support those that can. Our leaders we believe have good work to do. Our children who have big dreams. We can help them to launch to do good big great work. We can support our soldiers, doing what must be done, on the front lines of what we can hope will be the last war.
And still. We have to do our own work. It it not enough to only support others. We have to heal ourselves. Our hearts. Our homes. Our neighborhoods. Our communities. Our nation…
Healing begins near and spreads far. We have influence. Maybe only in our homes, but it spreads. Maybe only in our classrooms, but it spreads. Maybe in our community, but it spreads. Maybe we have far reaching arms…spread our wings. Support those that spread their wings. Don’t clip wings.
Heal, where you can.
Support, where you can.
Prayer, where you can.