For the Benefit of Pilgrims and Strangers

I am only a guest,
Occupying a corner of the room,
Though the host has bid me welcome,
Offers bread, wine, meat upon the platter of
Honors, shares his home that has been created
For the benefit of pilgrims, strangers.

Peace.  Shalom.  As-Salaam Alakum.
No sooner are the words spoken than
Ritual life is deepened to community
As the presence of God is invoked,
Acknowledged, blessed with healing hands,
Fosters desire for deeper justice,
Banishes fear with such tender voice
No matter what tradition informs,
All are safe, eyes opened to shared reality
So holy that we let go, kneel,
Devote our thirsty souls to song and laughter.

Warmth feels genuine, love  intimate….
How do we not thank God, fall deeply
Into dreaming, seeing visions, moving
Inspiration, empathy, action that opens,
Like a pebble in a pool, wider circles,
Ever-growing acceptance of delight
That we embodied souls are here, now,
Blessed and cherished for who we are.