Dear God, Reveal to me through stories something of what it is like to walk around in someone else's shoes. Show me something about myself in the stories I read, something that needs changing, a thought, a feeling or attitude. Deliver me from myself, O God, and from the parachial and sometimes prejudiced views I have of other people, other nations, other races, other religions. Enlarge by heart with a story, and change me by the characters I meet there. May some of the light from their lives spill over into mine, giving me illumination where there was once ignorance, compassion where there was once contempt.
Someone once said that the spiritual significance of something is in inverse proportion to the publicity surrounding it. A publicized event, like a parade, is more spectacular than it is significant. And that is true even if the parade is a religious one. “When you give to the needy,” Jesus said, “do not announce it with trumpets as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.