Excerpt from Every Moment Holy: Volume II

Leader: O God who gath­ers what has been scat­tered,
Peo­ple: Shel­ter us now in the shad­ow of your wings.

O Christ who binds our wounds,
Be our great healer.

O Spir­it who enters our every grief,
Inter­cede now for this hurt­ing peo­ple, in this bro­ken land.

Be present in the midst of this far-reach­ing pain,
O Lord, for we are reel­ing again, at news of anoth­er loss of life
that touch­es us all; news of flour­ish­ing dimin­ished; of indi­vid­u­als harmed;
of pain imposed, not only upon vic­tims and their fam­i­lies who bear now the
imme­di­ate brunt of it — but also upon our nation.
For we are con­nect­ed as a peo­ple, and this hurt, this grief, touch­es us all.

Engage our imag­i­na­tions and move our hearts to com­pas­sion, O Lord,
that we would inter­act with these casu­al­ties, not as news sto­ries or sta­tis­tics,
but as our own sis­ters and broth­ers, flesh and blood, divine image-bear­ers,
irre­place­able indi­vid­u­als whose loss­es will leave gap­ing holes in homes, friend­ships, work­places, church­es, schools, orga­ni­za­tions, and neighborhoods.

Be mer­ci­ful to those now wound­ed.
Be present with those now bereaved.

You do not run from our bro­ken­ness, O God.
You move ever toward those in need.
Your heart is always inclined toward those who suf­fer.
Now let your mer­cies be active through the hands, the words,
and the com­pas­sion­ate care of those who will­ing­ly enter this
sad­ness to con­sole and to serve.

Be with all who move toward this need:
the helpers, the coun­selors, the first respon­ders,
those who offer aid and pro­tec­tion, the pas­tors and inter­ces­sors,
those who meet imme­di­ate prac­ti­cal needs,
those who seek to heal phys­i­cal wounds, and those who come after to car­ry on the long, hard work of rebuild­ing fam­i­lies and hearts and lives and community.

Grant each of them wis­dom, courage, vision, sym­pa­thy,
and strength to serve effec­tive­ly in their var­i­ous capacities.

Even in the shad­ow of such tragedy, let us not lose hope.
Give us eyes to see the rapid move­ments of mer­cy rush­ing to
fill these new­ly wound­ed spaces.
Let us see in this the echoes of your own mer­cy and com­pas­sion—
a fore­taste of your king­dom com­ing to earth.
And move our own hearts also, equip­ping us to inter­cede,
to act, and to respond how­ev­er we are able.

Move, O Holy Spir­it, in the midst and in the after­math
of this tragedy, in the wake of our wound­ing,
in the shock and the sorrow.

Arrest the hearts and stay the hands of any who even now
might be plot­ting fur­ther evil and vio­lence against oth­ers, O Christ.
Turn them from hatred. Turn their hearts to you.

You once brood­ed over the form­less chaos
of ancient waters and brought forth
the order and flour­ish­ing of cre­ation.
Do so again, O Spir­it of God.

From the chaos of this tragedy call forth
new life and order and flour­ish­ing.
Take even what our adver­sary might
have meant for evil, and from it
bring forth eter­nal good.

You alone have strength to car­ry this peo­ple.
Car­ry us now, O Lord.

You alone have wis­dom and pow­er to heal the wounds of a nation.
Heal us, O Lord.

You alone have com­pas­sion enough to enter our wide­spread grief, and turn it to hope.
Be mer­ci­ful, O Christ!

Amen.

Tak­en from _​Every Moment Holy, Vol. II_ by Dou­glas McK­elvey. Copy­right ©2020 Dou­glas McK­elvey. Rab­bit Room Press, 2021. www​.every​mo​men​tholy​.com

Pho­to by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Text First Published May 2022 · Last Featured on Renovare.org May 2022

📚 The 2022 – 23 Ren­o­varé Book Club

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