A Prayer for the Brokenhearted


Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle.

– Philo of Alexandria

She is thinking today of the brokenhearted. She is thinking of them as they go about their days and the strength it took them to rise on a gray morning. She is thinking of Stanley Kunitz, who said that in a murderous time the heart breaks and breaks and lives by breaking, and of Marie Howe, who said of his work that she didn’t know then that the heart might eventually break open.  She is about to leave her house and head into the sidewalks and streets filled with people, each of them making their way in the rain, none of whose stories she knows. She will first close her eyes and say a prayer for the brokenhearted, and then she will look about her at these familiar strangers and be kind, because everyone is fighting a great battle.

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