Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Prayer for San Bernadino

Fourteen people didn't wake up this morning.
They didn't kiss their spouses.
They didn't go to work.
They didn't show up to their yoga class or their lunch date.
We've experienced another tremendous loss.

I don't know why this happens.
I don't know if it's guns or mental health.
And the fact, that we always come back to bickering about one of two things, makes me feel like we aren't trying hard enough. Maybe we are so shell-shocked (or so jaded) that we've lost our ability to creatively look for solutions.
And maybe we look for someone to blame because we don't know how to feel this kind of grief.
We're just hurting too much.

After a different American tragedy a few years ago, my sister said, "I just keep reminding myself that we've never been at this exact place in human history ever before. We don't know what we're doing. We're just doing our best."

And so, while I have no answers.
No critique.
No magic words.

I do have a prayer--a petition, a plea--that we can still find each other in our sadness. Because we belong to each other. We are all we've got.

I pray that we hold onto hope. Even when it seems impossible.

I pray for the families that have experienced such a terrible and abrupt loss.

I pray that in misdiagnosing our grief as anger we don't lash out at others.

I pray that we give ourselves time to properly grieve these mass shootings that have become commonplace in our country more than any other place on Earth.

I pray that we are mindful with our words and give each other grace in our quick-witted opinions and rant-worthy posts online.

I pray the lyrics to one of my favorite songs, called "Mercy" by Crystal Davy:

"God of all the
big and small things
Hear our cry for mercy.

Darkness, sorrow
flee before you
Hear our cry for mercy.

Love of Heaven,
here incarnate
Can the dust sing out Your praise?

Hear our cry for mercy.
Hear our cry for mercy.
Hear our cry for mercy.

You have given
all we've needed
You put strength into our bones.

You have taken,
You have weakened,
You made hunger grip our souls.

Father, Father
daily bread give,
You'd not offer us a stone
You'd not offer us a stone.

Hear our cry for mercy.
Hear our cry for mercy."

Sometimes all you can do is fall down under the weight of it all.
To feel it.
Not try to explain it or make it better.
Just feel it.
We can't carry all of these deaths.
But perhaps the greatest honor we can pay to those who have lost their lives is to grieve with them.
To grieve for them.