Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Air and Light

As Newtown wades through day after devastating day, I can't think of anything to contribute to the national conversation. Instead, I'll borrow a prayer from my favorite author. Knowing little else to do, I'll pray it over and over while a community lays its dearly departed to rest. 

"There are no words for the broken hearts of people losing people, So I ask God, with me in tow, to respond to them with graciousness and encouragement enough for the day. 

Everyone we love and for whom we pray with such passion will die, which is one real fly in the ointment, so we pray for miracles - please help this friend live, please help this friend die gracefully - and we pray for survivors to somehow come through... 

I try not to finagle God. Some days go better than others, especially during election years. I ask that God's will be done and I mostly sort of mean it. 

In prayer, I see the suffering bathed in light. In God, there is no darkness. I see God's light permeate them, soak into them, guide their feet. I want to tell God what to do: "Look, Pal, this is a catastrophe. You have got to shape up." But it wouldn't work. 

So I pray for people who are hurting, that they be filled with air and light. Air and light heal; they somehow get into those dark musty places, like spiritual antibiotics.

We don't have to figure out how this all works - "Figure it out" is not a good slogan. Its just enough to know it does."  
Anne Lamott, 
from "Help Thanks Wow, the Three Essential Prayers" 

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