Expand my heart, Jesus.
Pull it and stretch it
to make there a shelter
for the widow and the orphan,
for the sick friend or colleague.
Let not your broken, naked
body on the cross ever become
for me a visual cliché.
Let it rather be a riveting icon
of a heart pierced and drained
to heal and make us whole,
of hands and feet nailed down
to set us free from our captivities,
of a head hanging limp in death
so that we might look up with hope in life.
Make me, Jesus, a great lover
in the small things of daily living,
attentive to a child’s need
or an old person’s limitation;
responsive to a loved one’s joy
or a neighbor’s grief.
Soak, wash, rinse, shake
and hang out this heart of mine
to blow in the wind of your Spirit
until it be easily folded in love.
Reduce me, Lord, to love.

Thomas Ryan in Men Pray: Voices of Strength, Faith, Healing, Hope and Courage by Editors at Skylight Paths