While we ourselves may be new to tragedy on this scale, humanity is not. Throughout the world and across time, cataclysms have shaken humanity. Turmoil and suffering have shattered communities. The book of Lamentations speaks of such unthinkable grief and distress, but buried within the text are a few verses of hope. This week's prayer is for that kind of hope:
Steadfast Love, God of Life,
we know we will be changed.
We know the world will be different
when we emerge,
connected through our vulnerability,
more aware of our human frailty.
We know families will be reshaped
around empty chairs at dinner tables,
by missed birthdays, holidays, and hugs,
through the absence of those gone too soon.
We know doors will be shut:
Businesses and opportunities will close,
goals will be let go,
dreams will die or be deferred.
We know our lives will redirect.
We will take less for granted.
We will hold our loved ones closer.
We will funnel our fears into preparedness.
We know we will be changed, O God.
Let that change lead the world to new wholeness.
Bring to flower the seeds of compassion we sow this day.
Show your faithfulness in the hearts of humanity,
and give us hope in your promise that
goodness overcomes evil,
love overcomes indifference,
justice overcomes oppression,
life overcomes death.
Your steadfast love never ceases.
Your mercies never come to an end.
They are new every morning.
Make us new as well.
We pray with humility and hope. Amen.