To Be the Angel

A Prayer by the Rev. Paul Oakley

North, South, East, and West,
Perhaps an angel, visible, ahead of me,
Angels hidden by forests around me,
And everywhere God, if that’s how your heart experiences the world…
Everywhere value and worth.

Angels created by our ingenuity, desire, and prayers,
Angels imagined in concrete absence,
And a deep, stirring call to me,
to us, to be the Angel,
to be the Angels the world needs,
to be the Angel the person near us needs
to give the message of hope,
to stay the hand of carelessness or evil.

God, when the hill we are climbing in the snow
at the end of a long day feels desolate
or when the desert dune we are crossing in noonday heat
shows us no angel towering over us,
embolden us, grant strength of resolve,
teach us to be messengers of peace,
bearers of good tidings,
protectors of those unable to protect themselves,
people who create a path of security and sufficiency
where their voice and their leadership brings us to a more just world.

God, teach us to be the Angel.