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Spirit of life, we come from different spaces.
Spirit of life, we come from different spaces. Some of us arrive alive with hope and joy. Some of us come in loneliness or fear -- looking for friendship and support but not sure we'll find it.

Someone here is thinking of breaking up with their partner -- or is afraid that their partner is thinking of breaking up with them. It's such a hard place to be: a place of fear and hope, anxiety but perhaps also relief -- a wrenching spot where feelings war with one another.

Someone else is glad and secure and so grounded in their relationship that they feel they could achieve almost anything with the anchor of that love to give them roots.

Someone here is trying to quit smoking -- or thinking of it -- and is finding it one of the hardest things they ever had to do. Someone here may be addicted to cocaine or another drug -- and would be so ashamed if anyone else here knew. "What would they think of me? And yet, that is who I am, and I am here, too."

Someone may be facing an unwanted pregnancy -- "What do I do about it? Could I handle giving birth? Could I deal with an abortion? What do my friends really think? What do I think?"

Someone else wants a child -- wants a child so badly -- and feels an emptiness in their heart because this desire cannot be fulfilled.

Others are here out of no particularly intense feeling, yet still understanding what it means to know pain or joy.

We arrive from so many places, it almost seems as if we each came to see a different movie but we find ourselves, by chance, in the same theater -- each hoping for something to feed our spirits, yet wondering how we can all be fed when who we are and what we need seem so different.

Spirit of life, help us see that -- as different as we are -- we are all welcome here, that we all have something to offer one another, and that our very being here is a gift. Help us to see that, as individual and unique as we are, there is a common heart beating in our breast; and we are not really separate at all -- merely fragments of one common, beautiful vessel, if we could learn to put the pieces together. Blessed be. Amen.

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