Tag Archives: peace

Thoughts for Thursday

Just this, today. I don’t know about you but I’ve had a rough week! I love Mary Oliver’s poetry and the peace it brings my soul.
Morning Poem

Every morning
the world
is created.
Under the orange

sticks of the sun
the heaped
ashes of the night
turn into leaves again

and fasten themselves to the high branches —
and the ponds appear
like black cloth
on which are painted islands

of summer lilies.
If it is your nature
to be happy
you will swim away along the soft trails

for hours, your imagination
alighting everywhere.
And if your spirit
carries within it

the thorn
that is heavier than lead —
if it’s all you can do
to keep on trudging —

there is still
somewhere deep within you
a beast shouting that the earth
is exactly what it wanted —

each pond with its blazing lilies
is a prayer heard and answered
lavishly,
every morning,

whether or not
you have ever dared to be happy,
whether or not
you have ever dared to pray.

from Dream Work (1986) by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver

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Thousand Word Fridays: Peace be my Tailwind

Acrylic on Canvas (Digitally Modified)  - Jason Sierra (2011)

Acrylic on Canvas (Digitally Modified) – Jason Sierra (2011)

Being exposed to the native cultures of the Pacific Northwest was a humbling and transformative experience, drawing me into a rich visual vocabulary and tradition. The dove is a constant symbol in our house, a symbol of the peacework that my partner does and a sign of covenant and promise, the constant search for a peaceful and solid place to land. Seattle wasn’t quite it, so still we’re searching…

Never a Dull Moment With The Pope

After saying a prayer for the Ukraine yesterday Pope Francis and some school children released two doves, a symbol of peace for Christians,  in St. Peter’s Square.  The two birds were immediately attacked by a seagull and a black crow. Much to the relief of the tens of thousands of people who had gathered to hear the Pontiff, both doves were able to escape with their lives but not before receiving some pretty serious abuse.  There is always something unexpected going on with His Holiness but this time it wasn’t of his making.

APTOPIX Vatican Pope Doves

Shanah Tovah

Today ends the celebration of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. According to tradition, this past Wednesday evening leading into Tuesday marked the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve and their entry into God’s plan for the world. This celebration of new beginnings and of God’s glory historically lasts two days, ending at sunset today.

But as you enjoy the light hearted video above and share the greeting “Shanah Tovah” (literally, have a good year) with your Jewish (ad non-Jewish) friends, we at the Daily Cake invite you to think of the common homeland of the Christian, Muslim and Jewish traditions and the incredible tension that continues to brew on the Eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Tomorrow we will engage the call for a day of prayer and fasting for Syria by offering a series of reflections and prayers. We hope you’ll join us by reading along and perhaps fasting and praying yourself. If you have prayers to contribute please post them below and we will repost them to our network tomorrow.

In the meantime, we give thanks that there are always chances for new beginnings…for all of us.

A Moment of Gratitude

Gathered around a fire pit at a small Presbyterian conference center outside Stony Point, NY are a dozen young adult soon-to-be missionaries. Sarah suggests a pick up line for Will while Keri and Joseph play Cornhole.

Out of the darkness and up the hill approach two men, one dressed in a white robe, the other casually in a polo and khakis. Though unassuming, they are  two world renown peacemakers, Azhar Hussein of Pakistan and Imam Mohammad Ashafa of Nigeria.

It takes a while to unearth the tens of thousands of lives the two men have touched, but then, as if releasing a dam, Imam Ashafa lets flow a river of insight into the life of these young missionaries, broken by the comedic interjections of Hussein.

American policies and its people are two different things, Ashafa begins, and they are often conflated the world round. America is  a young nation, a very young nation, but nonetheless a model for the world, good or bad, due to its power and influence. He observes that when we individual Americans go abroad people are attentive to the way “Americans” eat bread, the way they eat a biscuit, the way they drink water, the way they dress. We carry the responsibility, he says, to be a light, to carry good news where we go, and to be the compassionate heart which is America’s greatest asset.

We cannot think that we are battling against a tide of injustice that is unwinnable, if we think that, it will always be unwinnable, he continues. We must know that we have a positive seed to plant and trust that before our eyes it will sprout and bear positive fruit. We must trust that others will not see our skin color or the character of our hair, but will see the human in us, themselves in us, and join us in nourishing that seed. Then we will succeed.

Hussein tells a story as he rises to leave. Standing before a great fire, a frog poured a little water on it. Laughing, the people ask why he did this if he could never hope to put the fire out. The frog says that when he goes before God he wants to say he has done what he could to help put the fire out. We  too must know that we have served our God, our faith, our brothers and sisters faithfully, he says, and as result we must take heart.  Standing he takes Imam Ashafa’s hand in his own and the two men walk down the hill and beyond the firelight together.