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By Josh Utter

This poem, along with other Ignatian prayers, poems, reflections and art, first appeared in our free e-book, “Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places: Through the Year with Ignatian Spirituality.” Sign up to receive it at

Our paths are never quite what we expect them to be.
They weave in a way that may confuse or thrill us
as we resist or embrace the unanticipated.
Yet, when we zoom out, and see the resulting tapestry,
the new perspective shows that our prayers have been answered.
(No, not in the way you necessarily planned, because did you absolutely need
to fill your bag with rolls of toilet paper and duct tape?)

Leave it all behind.

Please take a minute,
or two,
to rest by the river.
Allow the only rushing to be the current,
the wind in the reeds, the clouds in the sky,
the bees to their hives,
while you plant your feet firmly on the ground,
dig your toes in the sand,
or soak them in the water if you’d like.
Peace can be found
when you offer a moment,
or two,
to discover the passing pilgrim you are.

Josh Utter is the outreach officer for Jesuit Refugee Service/USA and lives in Phoenix.