The man in the gutter,
The woman on the street,
They are my sister and my brother.
The frail and the meek,
The lonely and the lost,
They are my father and my mother.
The soldier with his weapon,
The youth in her wheelchair,
They are my son and my daughter.
The widow and the orphan,
The confused and the lost,
They are my cousins and friends.
G-d of justice,
Only You know why one man is born for silk
And another man is born for sand.
Only You know why one woman is born for castles,
And another is born for cardboard.
G-d of mercy,
Grant me the wisdom and compassion
To see all men and women
As my family and kin.
Help me to use the gifts of my life
As blessings to share.
Grant me compassion for those in need:
The suffering, the hungry,
Those in pain,
Those in fear.
Lead me to a path
Of love and healing
In service to Your Holy name.
© 2011 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: This prayer can also be used during Elul and during the Counting of the Omer. For a related but harder-edged prayer, see “Witnessing: A Meditation.” Here’s a link to prayers for the Days of Awe, the Yamim Noraim, listed by topic. Here’s a link to an annotated list of memorial and yizkor prayers.
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Photo credit: Reiki Training Program’s Blog