O Shekinah,
yours is the feminine face of the Holy,
the luminous moon who lights up the night
as we travel from captivity to liberation,
the pillar of fire who guides our way home,
the cloud hovering over the mountain peaks,
living sign that the drought is over.

You are the indwelling presence of the Divine.
Whenever we gather to praise the One
you are here in our midst.
When we cry out for justice
you make our hearts tender.
When we stand with those on the margins
you make our legs strong.
When we create works of art
and parent our children
and harvest our gardens
you guide and sustain us.

You are the Sabbath Bride, the Beloved,
returned from exile.
You restore balance in our relationships
and wholeness to our fragmented souls.
You infuse our lovemaking with honey.
You fill the cup of our hearts,
which tremble with longing,
with the wine of your answering love.
You are the song of our homecoming.

You are the Sabbath Queen, the Great Mother,
who sits at the heart of the table
tearing off hunks of the secret bread
that contains the exact flavor each of us loves best.
You feed us all,
the proud and the repentant,
the believer and the skeptic,
from your own hands.
Your unconditional forgiveness dissolves otherness.

O Shekinah,
we are the vessel for your inflowing.
Your radiance requires the clay of our embodiment.
Your flame burns at the core of the earth.
Your warmth penetrates the seedbed and animates the seedlings.
You bless the head of every animal
and kiss the tear-streaked face of humanity.
You are the vision that builds community,
and you are our refuge
when the fabric of community unravels.

Be with us now
as we navigate the landscape of mystery
where your most cherished attributes —
wild mercy and boundless compassion,
righteousness and wisdom —
seem to be cast aside and trampled
by imperious world powers
and we are paralyzed by helplessness.
Help us.
May we remember you and lift you up.
May we recognize your face and celebrate your beauty
in everything and everyone,
everywhere, always.

Mirabai Starr in Wild Mercy