My intent was to simply walk the trail in silent prayer
Then it seemed too little to offer in hope of God’s care
The task overwhelmed, I did not know where to start
I had to change my pace to keep time with my heart

Clutter needed to empty my mind from the inside out
How could I, a solitary man, even try without doubt
Never needing to ask for so much before, I felt so lost
Thoughts focused on the thousands in this holocaust

As I approached my rock a single word found home
“Others”, in cycled meditation I found them all alone
People left behind to deal with deep grief and pain
My leaking eyes confirmed I comprehended the stain

Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and friends parted
I dared beg God he pour love out to those afflicted
And I believed!  My hidden refuge forever changed
It was no longer meant just for me, I was rearranged

That instant, my life had taken a different direction
I rose with a new found strength, a new conviction
Yet stumbled, this new self unfamiliar with the trail
Nature was more alive in never before noticed detail

Before me, mushrooms spread across the forest floor
Each a miniature gravestone, I could not be more sure
Falling to my knees, I understood they were in bloom
God shared that He loves all in the harvest at the tomb


Like many people I was deeply troubled by the death of so many people in the name of Allah – God, I have Muslim friends – this could not be!.  I went for a walk to settle my nerves and pray for those that had died.  In a single profound moment I discovered far more than what I was looking for.  As I went to sit on my thinking rock the word “others” was spoken directly to me.  Everything went silent as in the depth of meditation I became sensitive to the needs of so many people close to those that had died. 

They needed prayers to help them soften the painful memories of loved ones they lost, yet what could I do, I was a simple man in the middle of the woods.  In a bold move I do not regret, I dared God to bring them comfort.  What I got was an invitation, a challenge back to participate in a selfless human capacity.   My conversion to a life of prayer for others began in the second I saw a field of wild mushrooms which in all my years of hiking I had not noticed before. Kneeling before these miniature gravestones I finally understood the story of Jesus’s tomb and his resurrection.  I understood that death in this world allows God to lovingly harvest fruit from the seeds planted in this earthly garden. 

For further reflection: Matthew 5 and the Stations of the Cross