Prints of Peace
By John Bonney of Springfield, OR, USA
I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. —Psalm 121:1–2 NRSV
One morning I was up early enough to see more bright lights in the sky than I usually see 20 or 30 minutes later. Venus continued to reign in the eastern sky like a bright jewel. Further south and appearing lower in the heavenly panorama was the binary star Sirius.
I walked on, speaking quietly to the occasional cats and noting the gleaming reflection of my headlamp in their eyes. Some scurry away when they see me coming, and some just sit and watch me curiously.
Often a friendly kitten will approach me. These trusting young souls often speak in a plaintive and questioning voice. They may lie on the sidewalk, contort their flexible bodies, and turn their middles up to me to be petted. I know that old ploy, and I don’t try to touch them. Besides, it’s just too far down for me to bend. But they persist in their vulnerable pose.
Returning home after sunrise, I often hear the chickens talking things over and planning their busy chicken-style days. And, oh my, when they lay an egg! Not only does the layer cluck, chortle, and squawk, but yard mates will take up the announcement to the world. “Hear ye, hear ye! Our feathered friend has laid an egg!”
So I declare the day is good in the dark hours and the light, in the rain and the sun, in the fog and the cold. A Bringer has brought. A Blesser has blessed. An unspeakable intelligence lives inside and outside our little world—inside and outside temporality, inside and outside each of us. Accept the peace but also recognize that creation includes that which to humans is violence. I choose the peace whenever possible. In fact I choose the prints of peace shining in the morning sky.
Prayer for Peace
Creator God, creating still, you are in our mornings and in our nights, in our Earth and in our sky. You are in our hearts and in every breath. May we always choose peace—and in doing so, choose you.
Spiritual Practice: Sea of Light
Quiet and center yourself. Ask for God’s healing and guidance as you enter this time of prayerful presence. Close your eyes, breathing deeply and calmly. Imagine that you are floating in a beautiful sea of light that rises and falls with each cycle of your breath. The golden light of this sea buoys you up, so you float effortlessly. Waves of light carry and wash over you, bringing wholeness and peace. Rest in the sea of God’s love, then offer a prayer of gratitude.
Today, God, when I see traces of clouds in the sky, I will see prints of your peaceful presence.