Where there is hatred...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen.
— Saint Francis

It's cold this morning in my little house in the big woods, the kind of cold that paints frost crystals all over everything and sharpens the air. Winter's coming. 

But I have coffee and a fire in the wood stove. Mark Knopfler is singing to me. I have words to write.

I also have heart work to do. 

So much hate in the world right now, swirling in from all directions like snow in a blizzard. Hang out on social media for a minute and it swirls so thick I lose track of which direction it is coming from or which way it is blowing.

It's easy to get lost in snow like that.

And so I keep coming back to love as an anchor. 

I don't mean love in the casual way I say I love bacon. More like the way I say I love coffee. As in, I will walk three miles through snow to get a good cup. I will haul a hand grinder and good beans with me on a cruise, forage for half and half during the day, and play games with room service hot water in a quest to brew one perfect mug of coffee.

I'm talking about the kind of love that has action behind it, an activated love that changes things.

And that is where I have work to do. Hate and fear are a taint, like cream gone bad in a cup of otherwise awesome coffee. 

I've been meditating on the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis this week, and I've realized that much of it is beyond me right now. I've decided to break it down and take it one line at a time.

So for today, my challenge to myself and to you if you'd like to join me, is to hold this line in your heart:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love

I plan to carry these words with me, making them the focus of my day, and I invite you to join me. Look for opportunities to speak from love, to act from love, to show love. Not only where it is deserved, but in all places, at all times, and with all people.

Sound like too much? As I write these words I have all sorts of objections clamoring within me. But what about... and what about... These people, these ideas, these actions, deserve hate, surely?

The answer, rather than my usual conflict, is going to be met, again, with this phrase:

Where there is hatred, let me sow love.

Kerry Schafer1 Comment