06. Please

Please: the practice of compassion and intercession, strengthening through empathy.


2 responses to “06. Please

  1. You can hear Glen Soderholm’s beautiful recording (and see the lyrics) of a song of compassion and intercession called “God Bless the Poor” here:

    And here’s Steve Bell’s powerful song of compassion and intercession –

  2. A Prayer

    Now, at this moment,
    I have forgotten all my needs, sorrows, pains, losses.
    They have been transformed into compassion for someone
    Else, for many others.
    For another, for others are in need, sorrow, pain, or loss,
    And my heart is full of compassion for them.
    Help them, please!
    O Merciful One, have mercy!

    This compassion that I feel, I know,
    Must be a small reflection of your own.
    This compassion that flows through me, I know,
    Must flow from you, the Source of all Compassion.
    So yes, I will act on their behalf.
    Moved by compassion,
    I will do what I can.
    I will call, or write, or give, or advocate.
    I will visit, or feed, or clothe, or welcome.
    But I will not stop with the resources I have to offer.
    I will come to you, and lay claim on your compassion,
    Which is much bigger,
    And on your resources,
    Which are much greater.

    It may be my own beloved,
    Flesh of my flesh,
    My neighbor or friend,
    Part of my life.
    It may be a stranger, close or distant.
    It may even be someone who defines himself as my enemy,
    Antagonist, critic, or opposite.
    It may be one person, or many,
    Or millions.
    But rather than pass them by,
    Busy with my own concerns,
    Rather than put up a wall, I open a gate.
    I choose to let their need interfere with my life,
    To enter, invade, lay claim on my attention,
    My compassion,
    My energy and action.
    In asking you to help them,
    I am asking you to help me help them, and
    I am also asking you to let me help you help them.
    So I am joining my will with your will,
    My good will with your good will,
    Simply by praying,
    O Merciful One, have mercy!

    Because, Lord, I do not want to be an insensitive clod,
    Self-absorbed. Clueless. Heartless.
    No, I want to be caught up in your great
    Compassion, which is your great
    In my prayer, I join you in your concern for others,
    Your love for all. For all.

    Sometimes my heart is overwhelmed. It bends
    Under great weights. It breaks
    Under piercing sorrows.
    My fire burns low or burns
    My love is not big enough, but ah,
    Yours is.
    And so, Compassionate One,
    I bring my little rowboat of compassion and tie my bowline
    To your powerful ship of compassion.
    Pull me along, Lord, and let me ride your wake
    As we bring what is needed to those who need it.

    They are in fear. Safety and peace, please!
    They are in danger. Protection and safe passage, please!
    They are oppressed. Justice and liberation, please!
    They are forgotten. Advocacy and friendship, please!
    They are confused. Guidance and reassurance, please!
    They are hungry, homeless, unhealed. Food, shelter, medical care, please!
    They are dying. Comfort, relief from pain and fear,
    And hope beyond this life that brightens as they near the threshold,

    They are in comfort and complacency. Awareness, awakening,
    They are in privilege and isolation. Generosity, connection,
    They are rich in goods but paupers in purpose and compassion.
    Conversion, transformation,
    They are ignorant but ignorant of that fact: Enlightenment, teaching,

    Wait. They are not them, separated from us.
    They are we and me, and their struggle, ours and mine.
    What is happening to them is happening to us, to me.
    And so I do not pray for them only, but with them,
    So that in my prayer, we pray:
    O Merciful One, have mercy!

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