Friday, April 20, 2018
St. Francis Prayer ~ take six
Hopefully (building on the theme of the last posts) by now you are starting to sense that this prayer is not meant only as a prescription but a description that can work and wiggle into our lives. We can read this prayer time and time again, like water over a rock, slowly letting it smooth the rough edges of our souls. We let this prayer turn and tune our lives because the soundtrack of society blares and blasts too much hate/injury/doubt/despair/darkness - and we long for and thirst for another way. Not that love/pardon/faith/hope/light are opposites, but as a response that might grow within us as a gift of God.
When I arrive at the doorstep of praying to bring light to darkness, I am reminded of the spiritual, "This little light of mine...I'm gonna let it shine." I am able to let my light shine because the One who is light shines on me in amazing ways. In Florida, we sometimes joke about being, "Solar powered," because if it is grey/gloomy for too many days (which is to say more than one), you can really start to hear it and see it in others. Our vitamin D has been so elevated, that we crave it. Yet, just as I cannot control peace; I cannot control darkness.
Or another way to say all this is to suggest that the above are seasons and responses. There are seasons (as Ecclesiastes 3 suggests), but what happens outside doesn't have to be the only voice about what happens inside. Christ came to show us that even in a time of oppression, violence, hatred, and anger, there were ways we can live which might dance to a different beat of a drummer. Rome would talk about "Pax Roma" or Roman Peace. This was a peace only Caesar could bring...but it was a peace of oppression by taxes ~ peace won by a sword ~ peace of conformity or else the crucifix. Christ came to talk about God's peace as for all, especially the least, lowly, and lost. Christ came to talk about peace through non-violence. Peace even in facing death, not as the end, but as a way to life abundant.
Even in the darkness night, our eyes amazingly can find some light. Sometimes from one small star above or a small strip of light creeping in through a crack in the door or even from the flashlight on our phone. Leonard Cohen wrote that, "There is a crack in everything; that is how the light gets in." The crack is not brokenness...although it is that too. The crack which we might want to repair or replace that item now because it is broken...might actually be the very location where God's grace gets a word in edgewise.
So may the moments of darkness we all find in the course of a week also see more than a sliver of light in your life...and may that be more than a trace of grace.