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Where are the prophets whose vision is free,
Free, as the God they believe in is free,
Free to say no to a life we hold dear,
And free to say yes to a future we fear?
Where are the prophets who’ll help us to grieve,
Grieve what we cling to, and know we must leave:
Power and privilege and pride in one’s kind,
With little or no care for those left behind?
Where are the prophets who dare face the night,
Entering the darkness while we chase the light,
Mocking the motives that lure us to war,
Exploding the slogans we go to war for?
Where are the prophets who’ll help us find hope,
Kindling our courage to change, and to cope
In a new world whose resources we share?
Oh, where are the prophets to summon us there?
Who is our neighbor? That’s the question.
Who is this person we’re to love?
The one across the street? Or next door?
Or in the apartment up above?
Just tell us how to know our neighbor,
And him or her we’ll love as best we can.
We won’t be persons without feelings,
With no regard for our fellow man.
We do recall a certain story:
A man’s been mugged and badly hurt.
He’s in a ditch where others see him
But leave him there lying in the dirt.
Then comes a foreigner who helps him,
Someone who has no business being here,
Yet will not leave the man uncared for.
But who’s our neighbor? It’s still not clear.
Who, of the passers-by, proved neighbor
To him who could not even move?
Now that’s a question we can answer -
The one who did care for him with love.
Then...anyone might be our neighbor
If we will only take the time to heed,
With understanding and compassion,
Their circumstances; from that, their need.
Fortunate those who are poor in their spirit,
FORTUNATE THOSE WHO ARE POOR IN THEIR SPIRIT
Those unfulfilled in their longings and cares,
Those whose success has not stifled their longing;
Truly the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Fortunate those for whom mourning continues,
Those who can both joy and tragedy see,
Who mourn their weakness before death and evil;
They, in their mourning, shall comforted be.
Fortunate those who show strength in their meekness,
Tempering power, not denying its worth,
Nor letting apathy rob them of action;
They will prevail and inherit the earth.
Fortunate those who for righteousness hunger,
Hunger and thirst as their conscience has willed,
Knowing this hunger may always be with them;
Hungering, thirsting, they shall be fulfilled.
Fortunate those who are open to mercy,
Open to enter another’s domain,
There, in compassion, to reach for forgiveness;
Those showing mercy will mercy obtain.
Fortunate those in whose heart there is pureness,
Those whose sincerity is no facade.
Unmixed and unalloyed, their word is solid;
Fortunate those few, for they will see God.
Fortunate those who, as peace-makers, labor,
Who, by no strife and no conflict are awed,
Those who can reconcile, those who are healers;
Such are the ones who are children of God.
Fortunate those persecuted and hounded,
Whose work for justice leads only to snares,
While others look on and moan at their trials;
God knows, the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs!
LUCKY ARE THOSE WHO FIND THEIR HEART
Lucky are those who find their heart.
They do not dwell from God apart.
Be they religious, be they not,
Their lives are fed by what they’ve sought.
Like trees by river, stream or pond,
Their roots are nourished from beyond
And from the soil that is their own,
Till they in fruitfulness have grown.
Those who seek not, by bent or choice,
Those who ignore a deeper voice,
Will not, though taste they of success,
Savor their full creativeness.
Lucky are those who know their heart.
With intuition and with art
Their striving will be purpose filled,
As God and they themselves have willed.
Don’t count on love to come flying in your window.
Don’t count on love to mysteriously appear,
Born from above as an answer to your troubles,
Filling your heart with intentions most sincere.
Love isn’t there, some possession bought or found.
Love is no thing, nothing good to have around.
Yet people, at times, can be loving in their actions.
Love is a verb, not a noun.
Love as a noun may be kind and may be patient,
But love as a noun always tends to be unreal.
When love becomes loving, then real things start to happen,
And love is received as a fact, not an ideal.
Not boastful nor rude, never selfish, slow to anger,
Is love the abstraction, a virtue some would praise.
But living here and now calls for down to earth expression,
And love can’t expect to be approved in all its ways.