It is not always easy to speak words of grace and peace,
and yet speaking grace and peace brings relief
to ourselves as much as others.
It is not always easy to give the soft reply
and yet it is the soft reply that I long to hear
when the nearness of my own anger
leads me toward danger rather than the good
that I ultimately seek.
It is not always easy to show the meekness
although it is the meek that will inherit the earth
when the earth has been made new
and the fresh dew of heaven
will bring the blessing of God’s own nearness
to those who hold his name dear.
It is not always easy to return good for evil
but easy has never been the path
of faith and righteousness
and if not one soul ever sinned again
there has already been enough evil in the world.
I have learned, too,
that even things that are not easy
become much more likely
the more they are practiced.
Help me, then today, O Lord,
to breathe grace and peace,
to be gentle with both the least and the greatest,
to walk humbly before you,
to bless those who have cursed me
and to seek the Light
even in the midst of darkness.