Monthly Archives: April 2024

Earth Prayers

Each living thing gives its life to the beauty of all life,

and that gift is its prayer. Douglas Wood

It’s almost Earth Day, and there are many reasons to send up a prayer – environmental pain from war, industry, greed, and ignorance is cutting into the life force of our lovely little blue planet. Here’s hoping the words I say are backed up by my actions and my choices…

Creator of earth, sea, and sky, kindle the fire of your Spirit within us that we may be bold to heal and defend the earth, and pour your blessing upon all who work for the good of the planet.

God, Giver of life, Hear our prayer.

[Quoted: Douglas Wood, Grandad’s Prayers of the Earth; Cambridge, MA: Candlewick Press, 1999]

Take My Word For It

I use them for online orders, plane tickets, work expenses, and for a couple of recurring monthly bills: credit cards. Visa, MasterCard, Discover – all of them have high interest rates if you don’t pay off the balances at the end of each month, even higher for people with low credit scores or no credit history. American Express has a yearly fee for the privilege of not leaving home without it. To get one, you sign a piece of paper (virtual or physical) that says you are responsible for whatever debts you incur. Some say it’s modern day usury.

Then there are mortgages, car loans and leases, and student loans. A deposit and a signature, and you get keys or an education (and a monthly payment for ten to thirty years, give or take.). You sign several pieces of paper that say you will act in good faith to repay the debt.

When you think about it, it’s an act of trust for the lender, that the money given will be returned; it’s an act of faith for the borrower, that there will be work that allows the repayment of such debts. These are promises, written in ink or with a virtual pen. And there are consequences if those promises are broken, sometimes severe ones.

In the last few decades, predatory lending practices have ruined the family finances of those who didn’t read the fine print or didn’t understand it. I wonder if this would be changed if both borrower and lender saw these transactions as promises, and did their best to insure that the promises made weren’t just words on paper but the beginnings of mutually beneficial relationships…

Pots and Pans

Lord of all pots and pans and things, make me a saint by getting meals and washing up the plates! Brother Lawrence

Last night’s chicken and roasted vegetables dirtied two sharp knives, a cutting board, two bowls, two plates, ten pieces of silverware, a spatula and a roasting pan. Yesterday’s breakfast produced two coffee cups, a French press, a pour-over, two bowls, two plates, and a handful of silverware; lunch brought a sauce pan, two water glasses, and three bowls. Our daily bread brings with it our daily dirty dish duty.

This work has to be done, and this work will never be done. I can see it as pointless – rolling a boulder up a hill with Sisyphus only to see it roll back down – or I can see it as a built in opportunity to give thanks for the lives of all the people who grow the food I put on the table, the bounty of the land that offers it, and the blessing of the people who gather with me to eat it.

And I can be grateful to my husband, Dave, who does the dishes as often as I do…

Ready for the next meal…

This is one in an ongoing series. For more information, click the Three P’s above.

Where Was I?


Where was I?

Oh yes, this flower, this sun,

thank You! Your world is beautiful!

This scent of roses…

Where was I?

A drop of dew

rolls to sparkle in a lily’s heart.

I have to go…

Where? I do not know!

The wind has painted fancies

on my wings.


Where was I?

oh yes! Lord,

I had something to tell you:


[The Prayer of the Butterfly; Prayers from the Ark; Carmen Bernos De Gasztold (Rumor Godden, translator);New York: Penguin Books, 1969, p. 34]

How is it that my mind wanders far afield when I pray? There’s no end of things that poke through my stillness. I’ve imagined them as paper boats that I float down a sun-sparkled river, or as bubbles carried away on an updraft. Either image of letting go works well enough, I guess, but not well enough to prevent more things from intruding on my prayer time. They are part of me and the sooner I accept their presence, the better.

So I’ve changed my image. Now, I picture myself as a small pond full of all kinds of life below the surface, reflecting a star-filled sky on the surface. Thoughts are ripples on the surface that distort and disturb the sky reflection. I take a deep breath, exhale, and imagine the ripples smoothed. Life under the surface continues to go on, but it doesn’t hamper my ability to reflect.

I doubt I’ll ever get to the point of not needing some image to release thoughts or feelings when I’m praying. But I’m pretty sure God can work with me on that…Amen

Poems, Prayers, and Promises

Words and rhythm that remain in our hearts and minds long after most prose we’ve read has been forgotten. Poems indicate more than they explain.

Words we send to God, sometimes with rhythm, sometimes without. They embed themselves in our souls and connect us with the one who breathes life into us.

Words spoken today that anchor us to one another into a future we cannot even imagine. Kept or broken, they are the ground we walk on.

Come. Explore the three P’s. And, if you are feeling particularly brave, add your own…