O God, given a bead on a bracelet and invited to find the word you have for me, I hear the word “salve.” When I look it up, a salve is “anything that soothes, mollifies, or relieves.” A salve is “a medicinal ointment for healing or relieving wounds and sores.”
Born of recent doctor’s encounters, where I have been counseled not to use hydrogen peroxide, or isopropyl alcohol, or even triple antibiotic cream, the gift of the word “salve” stands in for the petroleum jelly I’m to use instead. Use it on those places where I have bites that don’t heal. On the scabs that I can’t leave alone. On the rough places that need to be made smooth. On all nature of hurts and ills.
Sometimes, O God, I look for something bigger. Stronger. Harsher. Fancier. More complicated. More expensive. Rarer.
Let me accept your offer of a gentle salve. Of a water bath for my sore toe–just warm water with a bit of baby shampoo. Of a gentle rain. A nodding flower. A light breeze. Soft sunshine. A sideways hug. A dog’s head on my knee. A squeeze of the hand. A smile “hello.” A deep breath. A quiet sunset. A cup of tea. A moment of quiet. Your non-anxious presence.
O God, salve all hurts and ills.
And for this world of yours.