Or We Can Whisper ,

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
Default image

At five o'clock each morning, the Benedictine monks of Weston Priory in Weston, Vermont, gather to pray and sing. Like the sun yawning over the horizon, from their rural home, these good men extend their spiritual selves worldwide. Their devotion to daily prayer demonstrates faith in the goodness of the unknowable day. They prepare the way with simple efforts that help prop the integrity of an unstable world.

Each morning I watch a small yellow school bus pull up to the curb ten minutes before children arrive. Each morning the bus driver swings open the doors and descends the three steps with a small brush and dustpan in hand; then she turns and carefully sweeps the steps. The children never know that someone routinely clears their safe entry into the bus.

A recent newspaper story from China described a horrific flood. The accompanying photograph showed a father and son. Evidently a soldier was helping the father carry his small boy above the rising, swirling waters; but the photograph obscured the soldier and I saw only a man helping a man who was trying to save a boy. Here ordinary devotion to life drove two men to fight the killing floodwaters.

We can all be holy in the monasteries of our own lives. We can battle floods of despair. We can greet each new day with stubborn, hopeful hearts. Yes, our lives are difficult. Yes, we are lonely. We dream about other people. We witness suffering. We wake up tired and discouraged. Yes, the burdens of who we are haunt us. But sadness also contains joy, recognition that children laugh, sustaining memories of a loving mother—and the possibility in a new day that can bring us to breakfast with renewed hearts.

Perhaps the bus driver hums as she sweeps those three small steps. Perhaps the men fighting floodwaters repeated, "Keep going! Keep going!"

We can give in to depression. We can succumb to crushing loneliness. Or we can pray in the morning and sweep our paths with confidence. We can whisper, "Keep going."

Devotion to goodness and hope carry us to the victory of peaceful and grace-filled hearts.

Questions for discussion:

  • Do you have the feeling of being loved?
  • Is there a small habit or hobby you can share with someone who is alone?
  • Are you brave in the face of your own disappointments?