Roberta J. Egli
Yesterday, election day in the USA, dawned bright! The day was filled with warm sunshine as I took my daily walk by the river. There are a few trees ablaze with brilliant colors but the majority of the trees have bare branches, having dropped their beautiful leaves upon the ground. As I walked yesterday, I found myself repeating the beginning of the prayer attributed to St Francis of Assisi as a breath prayer. As I took a breath in, I prayed, “Lord God”. On each breath out, I prayed, “make me an Instrument of your peace”. I awoke this morning, having prayed that breath prayer in a sleepless night as I wrestled with the non-results of the presidential election.
As I have reflected on this breath prayer to be an instrument of peace, I was reminded of two things. First, a favorite short poem by the Fourteenth century Sufi mystic poet Hafiz and second, that the instrument I learned the play many years ago, my piano, is gathering dust in my front room.
First, here is the poem from Hafiz, “I am a hole in a flute that the Christ’s breath moves through…. listen to this music”. When I pray to LORD God to be an instrument of peace, it is it is imperative to remember that it is Christ’s breath/ Christ’s peace that moves in and through me. To hear the music of Christ, I need to let go of what is closing me off to be open to the Spirit’s movement in my life. I must let go of my need for control, my need for security, my need for approval and more! So, for today, may I be present to what is blocking me from experiencing and sharing Christ’s peace. May I open myself to the Spirit of God to breathe peace in and through me.
Second, my piano is gathering dust in our front room. I have rarely sat down over the past few years to play and not surprisingly, when I do sit down, I am discouraged because my hands do not easily flow across the keys. My hands are awkward and play wrong notes much to frequently. To play piano well, I need to devote time and intention to practice! So, as I pray for God to make me an instrument of peace in world of division, I realize that it will take intention, time and practice to live fully as a person of peace. So, for today, I commit to practicing peace to those who come into my path.
Join me this day in praying the first part of the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi.
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
And where there is sadness, joy…
May it be so. AMEN.
Grace and peace to you today and in the days to come,
Roberta J. Egli
Executive Director, Messy Church USA