Seeking the heart of peace, we can be so surprised at the effort and struggle and persistence it takes to arrive, at the brevity of any traveler's stay, at the continuing effort required to cultivate peace in our hearts and in our communities, in our nations and in our world at large. Mercy of Mercies, keep us surprised at the effort required for such a great blessing, surprised at the resistance in ourselves and in our neighbors, surprised in the long work of repair and restoration and healing, surprised that risking over and over with others for something so important can feel not just scary, but good. Keep us surprised, Mercy of Mercies, so we may also be surprised by joy, moved into wonderment, and do not give in to cynicism or despair, but are equipped to dance and laugh generously and listen to and tell stories that help us dream well, ease our fears, and show us the way of courage ahead. Seeking the heart of peace, may we realize our hearts already belong to that center of being, and so it is in our power together to create that blessing. Amen.