July 26, 2016
From “Daily Grace” the Women of the ELCA daily blog:
In 2013, we prayed for those who suffered loss during the Boston marathon. In 2015, we prayed for the families of those who lost their lives in the Charleston church shooting. Most recently, we offered prayers for the victims in Orlando. And daily in various parts of the world, people are needlessly dying.
This prayer from the Pastoral Care edition of Evangelical Lutheran Worship was posted on Women of the ELCA’s Facebook page in 2013. Will it ever end? For all who are weary and anxious this day, surround them with your care, protect them by your loving might and permit them once more to know peace and safety. Turn the hearts of the violent from the way of evil. May the barriers that divide us crumble, suspicions disappear and hatreds cease. Help us in our confusion, and guide our actions. Heal the hurt, console the bereaved and afflicted, protect the innocent and helpless and deliver all who have been harmed. Amen.
Reading this, I lamented: the pain just seems to continue - in all kinds of ways and in all kinds of places. Has God stopped listening? Does God not care? Do our prayers for peace fall on deaf ears? I believe, however, the answer to all those questions is a resounding NO!
Therefore, PLEASE do not stop praying, hoping, trusting. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 (NRSV) If only more could hear that and trust it. If only more would speak God's message. If only more would live God’s message of peace.