As I listened to the water cascade down the brook
I wondered why life too tumbles against the rocks
It seems sometimes gentleness is what we all need
But instead rushing torrents come from every side

There are some called to live out an ascetic life
Where they can rest in the silence while they pray
The peace at this brook told me it is not green there
As in the mystery, deep prayer reveals all our pains

True freedom exposes cracks below the surface
There in the brokenness I found no place to hide
As life like water flows despite what is in the way
Yet mercy still finds the souls where it is needed most

Time went by as I watched a twig float gently by
Reminding me it was time to look up to reality
Straight in front of me above the raging current
Was a tree with branches crossed almost perfectly

Christ was there again, like everywhere I seem to be
In the turmoil and turbulence, His love for all of us
Peace and comfort rest gently now inside my heart
Unstoppable strength in a world of rushing torrents


I hiked, driven body and soul, to a very specific destination. I sat down to rest on one of the boulders lining a beautiful narrow brook.  The current was so strong it formed breaking waves over the rocks. As strange as it might sound, my prayers and imagination took me to what I thought would be a quiet sanctuary under a rock in the brook. I seemed to join Carthusians living the monastery life praying for us. I quickly realized in my own prayers how wrong I was to think the field was greener for them.  They more than anyone know the inner strength required when one prays to God to have mercy on others.

As I have learned to expect, out of nowhere, a tiny twig caught my attention, pulling me out of prayer.  When I looked up, I saw a small tree with branches almost perfectly in the shape of a cross.  In that moment I realized Christ was with me the entire time. Somehow I became certain the mercy in my prayers would find homes.   I too had found a moment of peace in this place that would sustain me until Creation allowed me to share in the grace again.

For further reflection: Jonah 1,2