Smooth Stones

I keep a small basket of smooth stones, each marked with a word,  on the back porch which I use like prayer beads. Somehow, as I lift a stone and place it beside me with a prayer for each thing the word I have written there represents, I am able to focus more sharply and receive these gifts.  I keep the same list by the coffee pot in the kitchen and can cover it with the palm of my hand in my petition.  Laying the stones down is a random process, so I am drawn to the pattern on this particular day when I look at all of them together.   I begin with seeking Light and the progression leads me to the most important request, “Thyself.”  I realize that if I could have only one request it must be that, for it is in the presence of God I find the all the rest.

The poetry of John O Donahue helps me imagine he might have had a basket of stones, too.

May I live this day

Compassionate of heart,

Clear in word,

Gracious in awareness,

Courageous in thought,

Generous in LOVE.

– John O’Donohue

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