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April 22, 2022 — Spirit & Verse is a monthly column of original poem-prayers composed by Cameron Bellm, a Seattle-based writer and mother of two whose “Prayer for a Pandemic” went viral, bringing solace and comfort to many struggling during COVID-19.

A Prayer for Holding and Being Held By the Earth

If you are feeling far away from God,

Go outside and sink your fingers into the dirt.

Whether it’s red clay or glacial till,

It was all brought forth by the great mystery of love,

Which set millions of unseen processes into motion—

Wind sweeping volcanic ash across the land,

Time and water compressing tiny bits of rock

Into the symphony of soil you hold in your hands.

Nudge it gently with your finger

Until you can see each individual grain,

Varying ever so slightly in color and size,

For the song of sacred creativity rings out in every place.

Remember: it was just such dust into which God breathed.

Remember: it is the very same God who breathes into you.

Amen.

 

Previous Spirit & Verse poem-prayers:

A Prayer for the Feast of St. Óscar Romero
A Prayer for Liminal Spaces
Answer the Knock: An Advent Prayer
Mary, Mother of Us All
A Prayer for World Day of Migrants and Refugees
A Prayer for Peace When the World is on Fire
A Prayer for the Ignatian Year
A Prayer for the Month of the Sacred Heart
A Prayer for Mary’s Month During a Pandemic
St. Joseph Prayer
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
A Prayer for the Feast of the Epiphany
A Prayer for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
A Prayer for the Month of the Holy Souls
A Prayer for Living “Fratelli Tutti”
Our Lady of Sorrows
A Prayer for the Beginning of the School Year
A Prayer for the Feast of St. Ignatius

Cameron Bellm is a Seattle-based writer of prayers, poems, and devotionals. After completing her Ph.D. in Russian literature at the University of California, Berkeley, she traded the academic life for the contemplative life, informed by Ignatian spirituality and Catholic social teaching. She is the author of “A Consoling Embrace: Prayers for a Time of Pandemic” (23rd Publications, 2020). Cameron and her husband have two young sons, and, blessedly, playing with Legos often nurtures her spiritual life as much as reading the lectionary. You can find her at cameronbellm.com and on Instagram, @cameronbellm.

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