Regarding Old Wounds

Living Waters HamsaThis prayer is about the spiritual path, recognizing that it requires a sense of purpose and joy, of love and humility. Why? Because healing can be painful. Much like surgery, it’s often necessary for me to receive my wounds in order to grow. Then I have a profound choice, to live wounded or to let these wounds heal and live from a place of wonder and awe. I use this prayer in week four of Counting the Omer, chesed b’netzach.

Regarding Old Wounds
Daughter of man,
Son of woman,
Children of compassion and sacred secrets:
Your wounds are deep,
Your losses crushing,
Knife on flesh,
Hammer on bone,
Burning your heart and searing your eyes.
Why do you invite them back
To chastise your days
And torture your nights?
Why do you love these old wounds,
Holding them so dear?

Son of celebration,
Daughter of ecstasy:
Cast off your doubts,
Banish your fears,
Exile the pain of time beyond your reach.
There is beauty in your past,
Wonder in your future,
And holiness in each new moment of life.

Come you children of G-d,
You witnesses of suffering and grace,
Lift your heads from your hands,
Raise your voices in song,
Lift your lives in service,
And rekindle the light of compassion and love.
Then, your lives will become a blessing,
A well of hope,
A river of consolation,
A fountain of peace.

Blessed are You, G-d of forgiveness,
You renew our lives with purpose.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: This piece was part of a collaboration with Lin Batsheva Kahn of the Tikvah Company of Artists and Desiree Miller of the Chicago Civic Orchestra called “Three Prayers,” using my words, original choreography and dance by Lin and original cello music by Desiree. “Three Prayers” premiered in Jerusalem in June 2014 as part of an evening of dance and poetry by Miriam Engel’s Angela Dance Company. This prayer appears in my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: Neshama נשמה Nicole Raisin Stern

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