Lead Us on the Path of Love

by Mark Votava

Still Life with Ferns, 2000

We long for something more authentic than this North American box we’ve been put into.  Help us to dance the dance of freedom.  May we be kind, gentle, compassionate and honest.  We are wounded, lonely and afraid.

We dream of you all throughout our days.  You are like the wind on our face on a hot summer day.  You bring us life, peace and a sense of meaning.  Allow us to understand our interconnectedness.

Be to us our life.  Show us the way of love, humility, vulnerability and grace.  We are disillusioned with the church that is supposed to represent you.  This breaks our hearts.  This makes us cry.

Why is everything so messed up.  We lament the violence done in your name.  We lament the colonialism that Christianity has brought into the world.  We repent of what we have done in the name of God that is not representative of love.

Love is all that matters, but we have loved money way too much in our individualistic culture.  Progress has caused us to live the cut throat life of competition.  We are sad and want to resist this in whatever way we can.  Help us to live a sense of sanity in the midst of our violence.

May we learn to be more aware, attentive and responsive toward love.  May we be compassionate and truthful.  May we allow Christ to live within us.  The ego has drowned us into propositional statements of doctrine, creeds, formulas and ideas based on you.

God save us from God.  We have boxed you up into our intellectual minds and have not allowed the body to experience you.  We have forsaken love and compassion turning toward our individualistic ways of subtle violence.  This all seems so normal and acceptable where we have lost a consciousness to anything beyond the status quo.

We are content in our boxes of fear, anger and violence.  We have separated ourselves from our neighbors.  We lament over our hatred, bitterness and prejudice.  We have lost our path to love.

We care more about our houses, cars, family and money than recreating our identity in a compassionate way of love.  We want to be free from what is of the false self.  We want to be our true self and learn to see the sacredness of all of life.  We are made for community, compassion, grace, humility and love.

Our consumerism has choked us to death.  Our individualistic ways have buried our imaginations within us.  Authenticity has become foreign to us.  The church has made us sick in its unhealthy ways of power and wealth.

We have abandoned the poor, oppressed and marginalized among us.  We have rejected you as we ignore the poor.  Help us to understand that what we do to them is what we do to you.  We lament over the disrespect we show others.

Our souls have not been valuable to us.  We struggle to care for our own growth.  Serenity has been trampled under our feet.  We have destroyed our expression of love and have given in to making money as our first priority.

Lead us on the path of love.  Love is what will heal our world.  Love is what is of the true self.  Love will help us to overcome our individualistic violence.

What resonates with you?