“But I trusted in your steadfast love….” (Psalm 13:5)
I have no idea what to do but offer this all to you, God, because these are the honest words and struggles of my spirit. These are the things breaking my heart, at every new morning, even as I praise you, at every evening, for the places you’ve shown up and reminded me all is not lost. Even as I trust you, God, my heart aches.
My heart aches…
At the anxiety I see in the face of my own child, and other children we know and love. It mirrors our own grown-up anxiety, and while it is a right response to such uncertain times, it tears at the fabric of what makes us whole. Grant us all resilience, God, to see these days through. Grant us a desire for what these difficult days might teach us, God.
At the pain and fear I see in the faces of black and brown folks who have known hate for so long, and at the pain and fear I see in the faces of law enforcement trying so hard to do the right thing, and for the chasm of pain between. Grant us all a bridge, God, somehow, that there might be a way forward without more loss of life, without more destruction of communities, without more anger heaped upon what already rages. Grant us a desire for real justice and true peace, God.
At the political turmoil ripping our nation apart, leaving severed relationships in its wake, escalating with every instance of weaponized snark and rumor, driving wedges into our lives together with such deadly force, and leading us to demonize one another, and assume worst intent. Grant us new eyes and new hearts and new ears, God. The ones we’ve got we aren’t using to any avail. Grant us a desire to see you in the faces of those around us, God.
At the blatant cruelty we are capable of, especially when it comes to social media…this particular landscape is evil’s favorite playground it seems, God, and we do nothing to stop its rioting. Grant us the ability to see each other as human beings again, God, to know that on the other end of our iPhones are men, women and children who bleed red, too, God, and who want, just like us, nothing more than to belong and to be loved. Grant us a desire for kindness, God.
At the realities of a virus that has altered our lives in irrevocable ways, bringing out what is both awful and beautiful in us. Grant us compassion, God. Your compassion. And hear our prayers for those for whom this virus has brought devastated health and lost loved ones. For those who’ve lost jobs, for those who’ve lost family businesses, for those deemed “essential,” and so, at risk to themselves, have made life work for the rest of us. Grant a desire to protect each other, God.
At a God-breathed world that is burning, drowning, imploding, at the weight of our desire to get more, have more, be more, take more. Over and over and over. Grant us generosity of spirit, God, that we might see past our own selfish wants and into common good. Grant us a desire for selflessness, God.
My heart aches at fractured communities and hurting families and empty churches and the incessant yelling and finger-pointing and dehumanizing we have adopted as status quo in this country. My heart aches at violence, at evil let loose, at greed and power defining our life together.
It seems more than is survivable. More than is fixable. More than we can ever make right. How long, God, until we finally get it? How long, God, until we remember we were made and meant for more?
Some days, God, the mountain seems too high and the terrain too treacherous. The journey too long and the way forward too uncertain.
But there is too much at stake. And so I pray that we might have the strength to trust in your steadfast love.
Your steadfast love.
That called us into being and that you want, more than anything, for each of us. Those we disagree with. Those we hate. Those that have hurt us beyond forgiveness. Each of us.
Your steadfast love.
That we might love as you love. That we might live as Jesus lived.
I have trusted your steadfast love, God.
May that love be what we let guide us out of heartbreak and into wholeness. Out of where we are and into where we could be. Out of what makes us sick deep in our souls, and into healing.
Out of hate. And into love.