Ground Zero: A Prayer after the Shootings

I am still at Ground Zero, Beloved Christ.  I cannot stop the leak of pain from my torn heart, the drip of anguish and anger – nor the quiet moan that sings in my throat like wind in the eaves on a stormy night.

We are killing all the time now – killing everyone: strong men and women, yes, and grandparents, and children.  Oh, the children, beloved, and the gentle people just going about their business, – I grieve their loss so – and the loss of all those others who have died before.  All those others.  I cannot get beyond Ground Zero in my heart.

O, Beloved.  Will you turn away from us now?  Do you even still like us?  We’re a killing machine.  We are sick to our core.  Tyrants – bullies – troubled children – they cannot stop themselves from killing.  And we cannot stop ourselves from letting them,  selling the weapons that make it possible to destroy.  Though we blame the shooter or the tyrant, the drug lord or strange people from another land, we are all sick to our core.  You see that, dear Lord, for you know our hearts.

Now we want to arm the teachers – the preachers – the grocery store attendants.  We are trying  to explain it all away.  We call it a political issue and bury our heads in the sand.  We call ourselves helpless to do anything, and we turn away.  We still believe that if fighting is going on across the world it will not affect us here.  Are you sick of us now?  Will you, too, turn away?

We are not blameless, dear Christ.  You know we are not.  But please forgive us once again.  Humans are dangerous creatures, the most destructive the world has ever seen.  But you are our savior.  You have given us a better path.  You have taught us that healing and feeding people, blessing and restoring to community are what makes us whole and at peace.  You have taught us that going willingly into death, full of compassion and forgiveness, is the Way of Life, the Way worth taking.  You have conquered death and given us nothing more to fear.  With you we know eternal life.  You have taught us to love.

Send your Holy Spirit once again and stir our sick and frightened hearts.  Teach us, Beloved, in the secret chambers of our own souls.  Open our eyes.  Kindle our compassion and our resolve. Do not despair of your people, but come to our aid.  We need you, Beloved.  Please be with us now.

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