After a few weeks not having a reflection book for my quiet time, I browsed my bookshelf and came across this little book and have been dipping into it.
It starts with a prayer for Christmas, giving thanks for the lives of all ‘prophets, teachers, healers and revolutionaries, living and dead, acclaimed or obscure, who have rebelled, worked and suffered for the cause of the love and joy.’ The prayer goes on to celebrate and give thanks for ‘that part within ourselves, which has rebelled, worked and suffered for the cause of love and joy.’ Most of us do not consider ourselves prophets or revolutionaries. Prophet and revolutionary are big words, full of power and danger, struggle and anger. We tend to think of them as words belonging to other people, or other times in history, not in the ordinary everyday of our own lives. Some of us might see ourselves as teachers or healers in the broadest sense, but again, these are roles we are more likely to assign to others than to claim for ourselves.
Leunig’s prayer recognises that we may have a part inside ourselves of each of these roles or characteristics, even though we might not see ourselves in that way. Every time we do or say something that challenges the status quo, we perform a revolutionary act – indeed, living a life of faith is revolutionary. Each time we speak the truth in a situation where it will not be popular, but offers insight and hope, we are being prophetic. When we give time and space to a person, when we really listen to them and acknowledge how they are feeling, we are offering them healing. When we explain something to another and encourage them as they learn something new, we are being a teacher. His week I invite you to notice what you do that brings love and joy into the world. Give thanks and celebrate who you are.