A Discussion Group of the National Storytelling Network

Story Circles
Children at the Well

Together Prayer by Rev. Wendy Harris, The Interfaith Seminary, Class of 1998

During our brief time together let's not talk about our differences.
I don't want to tell you that my religion is better than your religion.
I want to share our experience of God.
I don't want you to tell me that your religion is the only way.
I want you to tell me how God makes a difference in your life.
Let's not discuss theologies and liturgies and creeds,
But how we feel God's presence in the loneliness of our soul's dark night.
Let's not repent and atone and do penance and make our knees sore.
Instead, let us share our deepest fear and our deepest joy
and know we are the same.
How does it feel to be abandoned, broken, worthless . . .
or when it is your child trapped in the wreckage . . .
or when loss and injustice take us by surprise?
And is life so transient, so meaningless? Are we not more than this?
We walk in Buddha's sacred steps. We follow Christ's holy feet.
We dance to Krishna's flute and make The Prophet's pilgrimage.
So many beautiful paths to the mountain's peak.
But, did you notice, that last night the setting sun
lit up the raindrops in the tips of the trees like crimson fairy lights?
That a tiny black and white bug is delicately walking across the floor?
That the scent of one stem of freesia flowers is permeating the whole room?
That the elderly sheep in the field opposite mistakes herself for a lamb
in the Spring and frolics absurdly, delightfully?
So, for a while, let's not compare our sacred texts.
Instead, let us be still and feel the touch of Buddha's hand on the earth.
Let us be quiet and hear the tender heart of Christ beating in our chests.
Let us dance the sacred dance with reverence
and mindfully sense the way of things.
Let us lovingly call each other to prayer and joyfully thank the Great
Spirit which permeates all things and forever gently calls us
to notice our divinity in the midst of our humanity.
Let us be aware that our deepest human sufferings and our greatest human joys,
when acknowledged as OURS,
teach us to let go of our judgments, celebrate our diversity,
nurture our unity, and set us at the threshold,
the open doorway to the peace of God which passeth all understanding.

Reprinted with the permission of the author.