The shooting in Connecticut this morning has sent prayers spilling out of all our lips. I'm not sure I have anything new to add to all of it. But, I've kept the words to a certain prayer tucked away. I always seem to find it on days like these. It seems so apt in the middle of advent, that we are still waiting for love to come.
Steve Stockman read this prayer on BBC Radio Ulster, Saturday August 15, 1998 after a bomb exploded on Omagh - his city, his home...
In a week like this
Lord, we come to the end of another week except that it hasn't been just another week. It has been the worst week of our lives and even worse for some. Lord help us to be honest, vulnerable, and somehow hopeful in the reflection of our feelings.
Lord, we have been shocked. Shocked by how one tiny second can tear our lives apart. Shocked by how far we can fall. Shocked by how callous and painful our actions can be; how low we can stoop.
Lord, we are grieving. Grieving for the loss of lives with so much love and energy still to give. Grieving for the man and woman and child we will never be able to hold again. Grieving that our history is so sad and twisted.
Lord, we are confused. Confused at why this should happen. Confused about how this should happen to the innocent. Confused about where You and faith enter into these events.
Lord, we have been angry. Angry at why we allowed our family and friends to go shopping. Angry at how evil people could rip our world assunder. Angry that You allowed it to happen.
Lord, we are seeking. Seeking some kind of feeble consolation in the midst of our deluge of tears. Seeking some kind of hope that good might come from this evil. Seeking your spirit, whom Jesus called a Comforter, to whisper into our maddening silence.
Lord, we are squinting for faith. Faith that the majority have some kind of say in the future. Faith that love will end our hate, good will end our evil, and grace will touch our broken hearts. Faith in a GOd who is as angry as we are and who is reaching out His hand to us.
Lord, we are remembering. Remembering those who today can no longer be shocked, grieve, be angry, be confused, seek or squint for faith. Remembering that You watched as your Son, covered in blood, died at the futile whim of injustice. Remembering that His death is the only thing we can grope after in the dark on a week like this.
Lord, we have planted our loved ones deep in the bloody earth of Ireland this week. We have watered them with our tears. Lord, may you allow them to be seeds of a love that will grow into our peace. Lord remember us.