by Paul Hooker

Not the misdeed in the dark, the calculated criminality,
not the cynic’s act of cruelty, the scandal or the shame…
these are not our downfall, Lord, they are clear enough to see;
they offer small temptation to make us break the frame.

But the thousand barely noted little acts of infamy—
small betrayals of the heart, extended hands ignored,
loves dismayed, sleight of poison tongue or stroke of key—
does not each crack the vessel wherein the Light is stored

‘til it shatters, and the Light goes skittering
down the swirling darkness that seems to have no end?
We offer heart, we yearn for hope, we raise our voice to sing
songs too faint to call the Light or make it shine again.

You who are the One Light, in whom the will be found
to make a world the first time: only you can make repair:
You who made us once, now remake us whole and sound
and make a place wherein the act of justice holds our prayer,

‘til the world is right, ‘til hope does not die a-borning,
and peace no more a stranger in the dark and threatening night.
Then teach our lips and tongues to sing the morning
When even dark shall celebrates the coming of the Light.