Ben Smith of Tootgarook, Victoria, Australia
To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. If you close your ear to the cry of the poor, you will cry out and not be heard. When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous, but dismay to evildoers. Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life and honor. -Proverbs 21:3, 13, 15, 21
Coolness of the morning brings freshness and renewal.
Sitting under these almighty centurions I breathe. I listen.
Drip, drip, drip. Drips by the millions as the sky kisses the earth with blessed water, nourishing soil, and soul.
Bird song in the silence. The conductor places chirps in verse and chorus to fill the cathedral with a deep focus.
In the silence, so much noise.
How often do we think silence is boring and empty, yet when we go there we experience anything but absence of sound?
A new sound. I turn.
Mother and foal, glancing in fear, look up to observe me, the observer. Both of us are captured with awe, one in concern and one in wonder. Heads nodding, they depart; my spirit says thank you for your presence, their hearts racing, mine filling.
Underfoot the brown carpet is matted with root and soil, connected with ancestral twine, bridging generational gaps to embrace past and present.
How much is happening there to provide the world with nourishment and opportunity? Endless support, yet so often we tread thoughtlessly.
Columns of heart, clad with iron-like bark, their vulnerability on display with the softest of leaves up high, out of reach.
Like us their hearts and veins are buried deep within the protective cocoon, relying on years of external mask to shield them from outside danger.
But somehow they let us in. Their presence moves me. Sitting beneath their careless grace fills me as I breathe in their peace. How can the world not be changed if we capture this feeling and share it with others?
Most striking about these trees is their purpose. To fill the world with a home, oxygen, material, heat, shade, beauty-all for no return. The ultimate gift of life. Are we not the same? If we were to turn ourselves to the service of the world, could others sit and breathe in our peace?
“Be vulnerable to divine grace” (Doctrine and Covenants Section 163:10b).
This month, spend time each day noticing where divine grace is already pouring forth. Perhaps it is a simple awareness of creation’s systems and cycles that support our daily existence. The sun rises each day without being asked. There are underlying rhythms and relationships that hold the fabric of our lives together. Sometimes they fall into the background of our lives. We forget to see the natural generosity that spills over throughout our days-of the planet, the people we love, the Sacred Presence in all moments, the kindness of strangers we encounter, and the gifts we carry within. What is already being given in your life? What does it look like to be vulnerable to divine grace today?
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.