Beloved, grant us good friends and great courage when we face suffering and setbacks, trials and troubles, obstacles both mighty and small. May we strengthen both in hard times as well as good. May we rise up together, arms and hearts linked together to hold each other up when life would beat us down, dismiss us, defeat us. Beloved, let us not become so embittered our hearts cinder and we join hatred and corrosive cynicism and the cruelty that is already too much of defensiveness and strategy in this world. Keep us loving, able to be hurt, tender enough to still dream and hope and imagine goodness and strong enough to wake each day and try again to make all that real, persistent, enduring, full, flowering, fruitful. Let us not live on poison, but feed ourselves and one another with kindness, with courage, with the love that is so true we expect and require responsibility of and for and to each other and this world. Beloved, let us not be defeated by life's sorrow and hurts, but grow wiser, kinder, and more loving day by day. Amen.