Words of Light and Hope from Tony Hawes.
Grandad’s Prayers by Douglas Wood. Pt 1.
When I was little, Grandad was my best friend.
Being with him always made the world seem just right. Grandad and I liked to go for walks in the woods together. We didn’t walk very far. Or very fast. Or very straight. While we walked I would ask him questions about things I wasn’t sure of.
One day I asked Grandad about prayer. For a long time, Grandad was quiet. He didn’t say anything until we came to the tallest trees in the forest. And then he answered with a question.
“Did you know, son,” he whispered, “that trees pray?” I listened closely, but I couldn’t hear them.
“See how they reach for the sky. They reach and reach for the sky – for clouds and sun and moon and stars. What else is reaching for heaven, but a prayer?”……
I thought about the trees, and kept listening for them, and while I thought I sat down on an old mossy rock.
“Rocks pray too,” said Grandad. “Pebbles and boulders and old weathered hills.
They are still and silent, and those are two important ways to pray.”……
We walked a little further, and came to a small stream. The water splashed and sparkled, and tiny fish hovered in the shadows.
“Streams, lakes, rivers and waters of all kind, pray. Sometimes they pray silently. They lie still and calm. Sometimes they pray with movement, flowing across the face of the earth. Sometimes they pray by dancing, leaping into the air.”
“These are all ways to pray,” said Grandad, “but there are more. The tall grass prays as it waves its arms beneath the sky, and flowers pray as they breathe their sweetness into the air. A bird prays when it sings the first song of the morning. The robin’s last song at sunset is an evening prayer.
All the beings of the world pray, as they slip through the forest or sparkle in the water, as they climb mountain-sides or soar into the clouds or burrow into the earth. Each living thing gives its life to the beauty of all life, and that gift is its prayer……” (To be continued)
How wonderful, O Lord, are the works of your hands!
In your goodness you have made us able to hear the music of the world.
A divine song sings through all creation. Amen.
David Adam, The Rhythm of Life.
Illustration by PJ Lynch