I’ve got the whole world in my hands

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God (Matthew 5.9)

When I was a kid, I had a globe. I’d spin it ‘round and ‘round, and then, with my finger, I’d stop it and whatever country on which I landed I’d pull from the shelf the World Book Encyclopedia and read about that place, its people and its history. I did this once or more each day. Over time, the big and unknown world became a bit smaller and less unknown…

And then, when I began to learn, to know that in this life terrible things happened all the time, sometimes, I’d cradle the globe in my arms pretending to be like God who, as the spiritual, which my Baptist grandmother taught me, has the whole world in his hands.

Today, with ills nearly too great to name and to number, I wish I had my globe. I’d hold it in my arms again and pretend that I could make things right. That war and pandemic and national disunity and a host of other ills would cease, all under the sway of peace.

That didn’t work when I was a kid. It won’t work now. But I still will do what I can do…

Whoever you are, whatever you think and feel, whatever your philosophy of life, politics or ideology, theology or no theology, I will offer to you an open hand, not a fist, a warm heart, not a cold shoulder, an engaging spirit, not a closed mind.

It takes effort to wage war. It also takes effort to wage peace. I choose peace.

© 2022 PRA

#peacenotwar #hesgotthewholeworldinhishands

3 thoughts on “I’ve got the whole world in my hands

  1. Paul,
    This piece really touched me!! I could see as a little boy holding your globe! I truly wish you could hold the world in your hands and heal it!! But short of that, your advice is the best!! We just do what you suggested, work with what we have wherever we are for whomever we can!!



  2. Dear Paul,

    What Loretta said! I too love having the image of you cradling the globe. If we had all had the experience that you did, nurtured by your parents and grandparents and no doubt other loving people about the world’s suffering, about God’s love, and about your ability and responsibility to respond in love to the world and its people as well, our world might be a very different place. Your open hand, your warm heart, and your engaging spirit are there for all to see and to embrace, and what gratitude I know so many people feel that you are still holding the world in your arms.

    Thank you for sharing this with us. At the end of a very, very hard week, I needed what you have provided tonight. Thank you for welcoming all of us, regardless of who we are and what we may have done, into your cradling arms.

    Much love,



  3. My beloved sisters, as always, the kindnesses of your affirmation and encouragement provoke (in the best way) moistened eyes.

    I continue to return to the same course. That is, striving to be and to do love — benevolence unconditioned by the state of the world, the evil that we humans do, the regard or disregard I receive from others — to, with, and for others. Are there moments when I, despairing, would choose not to extend myself in this way? Yes. Are there moments when I would desire to lash out — speaking ill of others, withholding the grace of care and compassion, even (at least imagining) striking another physically? Yes. However, in the first case, not to do and in the second case, to do would violate what, now, is at the deepest core of my self (not my best self or, even, the best version of myself, as if, somehow, I could divide my person into distinct and individual entities of thought and feeling, intention and action, aye, of being). So, as I oft say to you, dearest Loretta, I say to myself: Carry on!

    Love you, each and both,


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