On this blog page, author Mary C. Woolling posts an ongoing series of her essays showcasing the positives of life.

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Friday, July 01, 2022

Peace Perfect

The Prayer Perfect

Dear Lord! Kind Lord!
Gracious Lord! I pray
Thou wilt look on all
I love tenderly today!
Weed their hearts of weariness,
Scatter every care
Down a wake of Angel-wings
Winnowing the air.
Bring unto the sorrowing
All release from pain;
Let the lips of laughter
Overflow again;
And with all the needy,
O divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine today!

James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916), American writer, poet, author

Dear Readers,

I’ve been out in my garden soaking up the gorgeous sunshine the Lord is sending down to us today. Things are humming out there! The hibiscus, phlox, daisies, and Black-eyed Susan’s are making a veritable rainbow of bright and cheerful colors, and attracting butterflies and bumblebees by the score. My elephant ears are thriving — giant, graceful, and green — and the birds, singing their hearts out. Overhead could be heard a pileated woodpecker rat-tat-tapping on the trunk of a juniper. An observant little squirrel, perched on a high branch of an adjacent cedar tree, watched me for a long time. I spoke quietly to him, and he didn’t seem to be at all afraid. Just sat there and looked at me. The neighbor’s well-groomed poodle was gamboling back and forth in his yard, leaping with joy, grinning from ear to ear, yipping and barking at anything that moved. He’s a happy camper!

The sights and sounds in my backyard have given me such a welcome sense of comfort and peace. I’ve been reminded that, in spite of our current challenges — worrisome and frightening though they are — our world is still full of good things for us to enjoy and be glad about.

Been thinking back to a long-ago meeting at my church when Henry, one of our most respected Elders, gave the opening prayer. Henry, who often portrayed in local productions the famous writer James Whitcomb Riley, recited the Hoosier Poet’s “The Prayer Perfect” (printed above). Perfect it was that evening, and perfect it is today. I will always remember Henry’s impeccable delivery of the beautiful words of that prayer — dramatic and moving. It was as if Riley himself were standing there speaking to us, blessing us with grateful and loving thoughts.

“The Prayer Perfect” says everything I’m feeling today. Hope you all will find it meaningful, too.

Here’s to Life!


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