Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of Independence, MO, USA
The effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. -Isaiah 32:17-18
“We don’t have to go far to find the treasure we are seeking. There is beauty and goodness right where we are” (Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, February 14).
Gentle coo of mourning dove, wind chimes, a heavy morning rain-I am a witness to the beauty of creation as I sit upon this covered porch. Birds shelter and call to one another from the trees. I inhale deep the scent of fresh rain seeping into grass, dirt, leaf. In this moment, I am falling in love with this world, this life, again.
There is much suffering on this planet, but also much thriving. There is unfathomably more happening beyond the small worlds of concern that entrap our perceptions. It’s not a call to retreat from life’s harshness, but to wake up to life’s fullness.
Through all the striving and woundedness and wounding of humanity, what might become of us if we all had the privilege of just a few moments to witness, to inhale, morning rain? What might happen in the soul of each one, oppressor and oppressed, if we could all wake up to the wonder and beauty of this world?
Peace, be still (Mark 4:39).
In the contemplative tradition, silent prayer is about cultivating a quality of inner stillness. You may visualize the story of Jesus calming the storm as a way of entering into this quality of prayer. Notice how churned up the waters of your soul are currently. As you breathe deeply, imagine a sacred stillness forming within you. What might it look like to engage all your relationships and daily tasks from this place of inner stillness? As you move through your day, notice when you feel stirred up and when you experience inner calm. Take note of patterns and themes. Invite all of your noticing into prayer as you continue to grow deeper in God as the source of your life and action.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.