إن شاء الله InShaAllah

 

God willing, the hungry will be fed.

God willing, the stranger will be welcomed home.

God willing, we will see peace in our lifetime.

God willing, all will be loved.

The thing is, I think God is willing.

I think it is us who aren’t willing.

We are afraid of the world we would create if we stopped waiting for God’s hand to descend and ended wars and fed the hungry with our own hands.

So maybe our prayer should be:

God willing, our fear abates.

God willing, we stop waiting.

God willing, we start acting like God already willed it.

إن شاء الله

إن شاء الله

إن شاء الله

Amen.

 

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A Meditation on Forgiveness

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Today’s post takes wisdom beyond walls from a metaphor to a reality. Antonio Turner is incarcerated within the Pennsylvania prison system. In this post, Antonio shares his ideas on pain, forgiveness and ultimately, redemption. Antonio have his permission to post this via written letter from inside prison. 

By: Antonio Turner

Quietly I calm my breathing. I relax, struggling to delve my mind into the most intrinsic core of my being. On a trek to forgive my mother remains the unconquerable hurdle on this journey. Why is it so difficult?

Although I have forgiven her from a cognitive standpoint, her rejection still lingers forming a cesspool in my mind: inside an already toxic and overflowing subconscious. Trying to contain the unrestrained resentment bubbling to the surface makes it hard to steady my mind on the difficult task ahead. The forgiveness process, for me, has not been a nourishing act from the heart. Yet since this betrayal and abandonment continue to be a taunting fact of my life, groveling about the matter will get me absolutely nothing!

So today as I ponder my life during a spell of meditation, the hold this unconquerable hurtle has on my heart is becoming a cancer. I sit paralyzed with fear – in my late forties – tormented by these feelings which have a direct effect on other women in my life.

As I secretly detest my mother for the immeasurable mental, physical and emotional pain she inflicted, my body tenses. I call God into my meditative space for help – to relax, to comfort and to guide.

I pray the combination of God and opening up my heart to Him will release the hurt carried every day. I so desire the fetters which have kept my mind in chains for the better part of three decades to be loosened – to release their grip on me. Since I was a little boy, I’ve prayed for this. Maybe I’m a dreamer, thinking, hoping this can happen.

            Blue stars, a gleam of hope

            Galaxies of complicated thought.

            Spheres of emotional entanglement

            A calloused heart full of rings and knots.

On bended knees, if I were only able to open my heart wide enough – seeking a depth of understanding more powerful than sight, I pray. I ask God to give me a comforting lens to examine my bitterness.

Maybe through the lens of forgiveness, I could’ve seen how she only acted out of her own pain – being a victim of domestic violence herself. She was an innocent floundering in her own torrent of pain. My meditation moves towards removing my selfishness, yet was it unreasonable for a child to want to be wrapped in the love of his mother? I don’t know. I’m just a dreamer.

 

My imagination has a tendency to run away from me. Through the prism of compassion can my prayers cause me to see my mother trying her very best? How can you shower affection when you are dealing with your own deep wounds, ones skewered and damaged by love itself?

By the grace of God, I’m now able to recognize her rejection actually had nothing to do with me. Her own woundedness prevented her from being able to love herself. With that emptiness piercing her soul, how could she truly love her own child?

Within my prayers, I ask, “How can I detest someone with so much visceral pain? With no self-love, wasn’t it impossible for her to love me?” I craved that love so much, which is why I pray for forgiveness now.

Guided by a beacon of light from my heavenly Father, I sit creating a sculpture with my words. I’m the one who needs to beg for forgiveness. As I fix my gaze on a starless sky – witnessing the clouds finally freeing the moon – suddenly the gates of my heart spring open. Could this be the first step to free my own hurt permanently?

As I end my prayer, I realize every present moment is an opportunity for a new beginning. And through the trials of suffering, the soul learns wisdom and compassion. My time in meditation has taught me it is possible to attain a newfound freedom from the realm of resentment. I don’t want to end this prayer, but know only through God can I release my mother from what she did to me. God provides a new forgiveness process much greater than my pain.

 

A Season of Spiritual Resistance

 Each year during Lent we need to hear once more the voice of the prophets who cry out and trouble our conscience.–Pope Francis

Coinciding with the Christian season of Lent, a season of global resistance, and a heightened need for interfaith/multifaith/spiritual/atheist collaborations and wisdom, we here at Sophia’s Pockets have begun a new season as well.

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We have refined our vision, with renewed focus on justice and compassion. We have dropped the word “searching” from our title as an acknowledgement that we all posses divine wisdom and are always worthy of love.  In these times when many of the world’s religions are being used to foster hatred and sow distrust we seek to share global spiritual journeys that resist boxes and boundaries, that tear down fences, that are, in short stories of wisdom beyond walls. We yearn to hear wisdom that indeed troubles our conscience, that helps us fast from feelings of indifference, and feast on love instead. To that end we are excited to announce our new yearly theme: Radical Wisdom.

So consider this your radical, unconditional welcome to join us as we leave our searching behind and step boldly into a season of spiritual resistance.

A Prayer for Community

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Communities can sustain us, they can support us, and they can help us succeed. Communities can also fall apart, they can break our hearts , and they can fail us. This is a prayer for all our communities, in all their forms.

Dear Spirit of Universal Love,

Let me find communities of wisdom.

Help me seek out communities that love me as a whole person, that challenge me in just the right ways, and that allow me to connect with something greater than myself.

Help me find healing with the communities in my life that have let me down or caused me harm.

Let me connect with new communities and with scattered members of communities I was a part of in the past.

Let the spirit of unconditional holy love stretch from me to every member of the communities I cherish.

Amen

…and We’re Back!

We here at Searching Sophia’s Pockets are back from our Summer Hiatus and ready to bring you new wisdom, love …and lint in the form of new prayers and posts.

We are still focusing this year on prayer, and we still would love for you to join us in sharing your thoughts about prayer, your own prayers, or the ways you have used our prayers with us. For more details check out our submissions page, or e-mail us directly at SophiasPockets@gmail.com

Thank you for continuing this journey with us.

 

With Wisdom, Love …and Lint,

The Searching Sophia’s Pockets Team

A Prayer for Peace

Although we are still on hiatus, these times of worry, fear, hate and division called for a special prayer of peace. This is a version of The Peace Prayer, or the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi, that was written by our Editor in Chief to reflect the struggles of our current world. 

My Strength and My Song,
make me an instrument of peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, attention;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is separation, compassion;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is oppression, liberation;
and where there is sadness, joy.

Divine Spirit of Grace,
grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is through the freedom of others that we are all made free.

Amen.

My Strength and My Song,

[Image of an ocean scene with above text]

Please fee free to share as use this prayer in any way you like, but please do mention Searching Sophia’s Pockets, and our Editor in Chief, Autumn Elizabeth, as its source.

A Prayer for the Protestor

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Today’s prayer comes from my specific Christian context, and is dedicated to all of those who are out there, standing up, raising their voices in order to create a better world for ever single life. 

Dear Jesus,

Today I pray for those who embody your rebel spirit.

May they feel the love of the universe when they come face-to-face with hate.
May they feel protected by the power of your example when they face violence.

May they also feel called to wisdom, contemplation, and self-care.
May they burn like candles, lighting the path to our best future,
and may they act like mirrors, reflecting our best, most dedicated selves.

Jesus, be with those who stand up to corruption, to hate, and to violence, even if they do not call you God, even if they worships a different God, even if they worship no other God than justice.

I pray that they feel your spirit, as one in a long line of leaders who have sought equality and justice in the name of the divine. I pray that they do not feel alone in their lives of resistance.

Be with them, as you are with all of us, as we all struggle towards creating your kindom on earth.

Amen.

Like all the prayers on this site, this prayer is just a beginning, so everyone is welcome to modify it, customize it, and re-create to better fit their own journey and beliefs. If you would like to share you re-creations, we welcome you to do so in the comment section, or to submit your reworking of this prayer or your own prayer.

A Prayer for Rest

In this world of achievement, this era of busyness, sometimes we all need to pray for the simple things. Sometimes, the exhaustion of caring for others, of being just, of living spiritual lives requires us to pray for rest. 

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Dear God,

Grant me rest.

Create with me a place to put down my weary load,
a place to hide my mental busy-work for a while.

Help me achieve this one thing today,
help me achieve a child-like slumber.

Amen

 

Like all the prayers on this site, this prayer is just a beginning, so everyone is welcome to modify it, customize it, and re-create to better fit their own journey and beliefs. If you would like to share you re-creations, we welcome you to do so in the comment section, or to submit your reworking of this prayer or your own prayer.