For Love In A Time of Conflict

The dance of this blessing by John O’Donohue captured me. I have read it over and over again like a person dying of thirst in a hot desert. It is simple yet deep. True yet elusive. Hopeful yet hard.

Conflict visits all of us like that annoying relative that shows up unannounced at the worst possible time. When we experience conflict, tension or misunderstandings with someone we love or simply know, the weight of the tension rests on our chest like wet blanket smothering the fire within. If the devastated relational-road seems impassable, it sucks a large percentage of our brain space, depleting our emotions and disrupting every life rhythm we have.

When no one is willing to move towards love what do you do?

When both sides cling to their truth what beauty can come of it?

When positions are entrenched like rebar in concrete what devastation will inevitably come?

This blessing offers a hard yet possible path back to love.

For Love In A Time Of Conflict
John O’Donohue

When the gentleness between you hardens
And you fall out of your belonging with each other,
May the depths you have reached hold you still.

When no true word can be said, or heard,
And you mirror each other in the script of hurt,
When even the silence has become raw and torn,
May you hear again an echo of your first music.

When the weave of affection starts to unravel
And anger begins to sear the ground between you,
Before this weather of grief invites
The black seed of bitterness to find root,
May your souls come to kiss.

Now is the time for one of you to be gracious,
To allow a kindness beyond thought and hurt,
Reach out with sure hands
To take the chalice of your love,
And carry it carefully through this echoless was
Until this winter pilgrimage leads you
Toward the gateway to spring.