Sunday, December 16, 2012

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer....

for help in times of fear and upset.

for single parents raising children with mental illness.

for the great suffering inflicted upon the victims and the families of the victims of this senseless act of violence.

for the voices silenced, the children who lost their mothers at the hands of a very troubled young man.

for the children left behind without a best friend or a beloved teacher, without the prior sense of safety and of innocence.

for the mothers and the fathers in Sandy Hook and their paperboys, their newscasters, their truck drivers and nannies; their bakers and store clerks and city councilmen and women. for that community, please God, grant them peace. grant them comfort in each other in the face of unimaginable tragedy.

for all the teachers and the mamas and grannies and fathers and uncles everywhere like in Nashville and in Dallas and San Francisco, in St. Paul, Denver and Philadelphia.... the ones who are weeping and watching their children sleep, worrying about other families in other towns, or wishing their own dead children could come back from cancer or overdose or maybe a car accident.

there is such great suffering. it is hard to understand. to wrap even the most agile of hearts around....

please and thank you and help: these are the prayers today, yesterday, into the new week as laundry spins, fractions are added and subtracted, maps are studied, ornaments are hung, choirs sing and families gather to hold one another another day, another year, another little while.

we want things to be predictable here on earth with the excitement coming from things like roller coasters and new babies and chili cook-off winners and beautiful new postage stamps on love letters. we want all the rent hearts to be mended, the cleaving couples to come back together, the church to stop pointing fingers and fussing about who marries who because love is love is love. we want every man, woman and child to have plenty to eat and a warm place to go where he or she can get plenty to eat and the ones that love them open their arms.

we want to stop weeping at the brokeness and the senselessless, the confusion. we want to say, Enough!! Everyone brush your teeth and go to bed. Tomorrow will be softer, we will find an answer.

Mother-Father God, I'm not sure that can be. but it's what we want here.

I want my students to be safe and well fed, to learn how to read and multiply, to believe in themselves and to become productive citizens of the community. I want not to get out of work at four o'clock in the afternoon while I've been teaching children in a poor neighborhood -- one that knows violence and unmet desire well -- to learn that north of me by several states, a man walked into a school and shot up a bunch of people for reasons we may never understand. I want to get to my child across town fast, so fast, and drive him home even if it takes two hours through the traffic and he falls asleep.

thank you for that. for that small inconvenience of time, with the sweetness of my lightly snoring son in his booster seat while I am driving in quiet. thank you for no radio or television over the weekend, but instead Christmas carols and a husband who loves us and a place to call home. thank you for a safe place to be a family, and to cry for those that woke yesterday in a world where that was no longer true for them.

it isn't fair, God. any of it. and I've been pretty mad at you this year, anyway. but I'm still looking for you. still praying. still hoping.

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