I came across this beautiful blessing written by the late John O’Donohue in his book To Bless the Space Between Us. It seems apt for this time in our country. And his are not the only words that are apt—indeed, this is a time to listen to those who are hurting and oppressed because they are hurting and oppressed. Now is the time to open our ears and eyes and hearts. Now is the time to seek to understand and to risk our very selves for the sake of others. Now is the time to lay down our swords. May we be the ones—not who seek to be right—but who extend love.
For Love in a Time of Conflict
When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.
When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.
When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.
Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless waste
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Toward the gateway to spring.
Now is the time for one of us to be gracious. May it be so.