passing-torch I just received SOS flares from two of my friends. Not so coincidentally, they are mothers, with concerns for their sons, asking for prayers, as I have time and time again. And so I mingle mine with theirs:

God, you know too well the heart of the torchbearer

When the handle is heavy

and the light seems but a tiny spark

surrounded by a dark abyss


The lethal words,

whether diagnosis,

judgment, or disillusionment,

hang heavy on our bones


Though we try with all our might

To focus on the light

Hopelessness sucks the life out of our dreams

Please, keep our flame


For the night is long

Our panted breaths that clamor for oxygen,

Don’t have enough energy to cry out to you,

and our feet that carry the weight of the world,

are finding it hard to move another step

So we ask for prayer–

A gathering of that tiny cinder of hope that is left in our heart

Offered out as a torch, to you and to others

In confidence that it can become ablaze


Perhaps by raising it up

It can help us believe again

That all will be well

And it will be well


Because when we raise to you our burdens

Our vulnerabilities, our very souls

It moves us from isolated ashes in the abyss of night

To a communion of fire combatting the wind


And the tiny sparks that others offered me

That kept me, and my (now grown) children alive

As we faced battlefields, and playgrounds together

Are now part of my fire, which I’ve added to yours


Flames that are joined together into a glow of strength,

Pointing us in the right direction,

Illuminating us to the truth

That somewhere out there in this dark, dismal world

There is a peace that passes all understanding

And the path of light we leave

Will mark the steps of our children.


Help us to shine brightly

Breathe deeply, and

Keep raising the torch!


Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.

Desmond Tutu



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