Thursday, September 29, 2011


photo (c) Andy Welsh

I have begun reading a book called Praying Dangerously:  radical reliance by God by Regina Sara Ryan.  She begins her book with a prayer, and the prayer ends with these words:

Let us say Yes, again and again and again.
and Yes some more.
Let us pray dangerously,

the most dangerous prayer is Yes.

The most dangerous prayer is "yes."

This really resonates with me.  I love the word, "yes."  My friend and colleague, Naomi King, once told me that since she'd heard the opening of the Gospel of John, "In the beginning was the Word . . ." she's liked to think about what that word might have been.  She likes to ask people what they might think that Word was.  And I told her, without hesitation, when she asked me, that I think that original Word was, "yes."

There's a poem by the Sufi poet Hafiz that confirms my opinion:

I rarely let the word "No" escape
From my mouth

Because it is so plain to my soul

That God has shouted, "Yes!  Yes!  Yes!"
To every luminous movement in Existence.

It is so easy, and so common, to respond to things with a strong "no."  No, I don't know what that would lead to.  No, we've never done it like that before.  No, there just isn't enough (time, money, energy, what have you).  No.

Often this is just our first reaction.  Given time to think on things we make our way to seeing how something to which we'd first said "no" might be possible after all.  We warm to the idea.  But it can take a while

Yet what if we could find our way to "yes" more quickly?  What if our first instinct was to say "yes," and only then take our time to see what we'd just gotten ourselves into?  Could our prayer become, "yes"?  Could our lives become, "yes"?

Long ago I came across words from Dag Hammarskjöld that I would love to have as my epitaph:

For all that has been -
For all that will be -

The most dangerous prayer is "yes."

In Gassho,


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David said...


Teresa Honey said...

Beautiful. I love this.

karen r said...

My dad once told me that at some point in his life, he was encouraged to change his default answer from "no" to "yes" and see what happened. It transformed his relationships. This was a great reminder of those wise words from him. Thanks.