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Handout 1: Prayer for Compassion

Spirit of Life, I give thanks for the opportunities to love

that present themselves in the turmoil of life.

When the light catches the tears in another's eyes,

where hands are held and there are moments without

words, let us be present then, and alive to the possibility

of changing. Let us seek to make another's wellbeing

the object of our concern. Let us seek to be

present to another's pain, to bathe another's wounds,

hear another's sadness, celebrate another's success, and

allow the other's story to change our own.

Let us stand in the morning on damp grass, hear the

syllables of bird song, and fill up on sweet air that rolls

over oceans and continents. Let us look up at the stars

and the planets that fill the night sky with majesty. Let

us witness the first fresh buds of spring amid the brown

sticks of winter. And for all this, let us be grateful.

Let us not defend ourselves against the discomfort of

unruly emotion, nor seek to close down our hearts for

fear a new love will come to shake our foundations. Let

us instead be open to discovering a new way of seeing an

old problem, or appreciating the perfection of a seashell,

or the possibility of friendship. For in giving ourselves to

what we do not understand, we receive life's blessings, and

in taking care of another, we are cared for.

About the Author

Elizabeth Tarbox

Elizabeth Tarbox

The Rev. Elizabeth Tarbox (1944–1999) served congregations in Middleborough and Cohasset, Massachusetts. She is the author of Evening Tide: Meditations (Skinner House, 1998). Evening Tide: Meditations

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