From Senior Pastor Deb Phelps:
We continue in prayer for the people of Oklahoma whose lives were lost or torn apart in the massive tornado Monday. As I sit here from the Oklahoma City metro area watching rescue and recovery efforts unfold on tv and internet, the news continues to be heart-wrenching. Reports seem to be of tragedy upon tragedy, especially children lost when their school was hit by the storm.
Yet at the same time we grieve the destruction and loss of life from storms in the US, we cannot ignore so many lives shattered as well this week from bombings across Iraq and Afghanistan, the ongoing war in Syria, all while the world still mourns unimaginable losses in the factory collapse in Bangladesh not quite a month ago. And that’s not to mention other stories not mentioned here and so many devastating individual tragedies that may never make it to the nightly news.
Indeed, as the internet continues to shrink the world, we are gaining closer and closer views of our brothers and sisters around the world. And as we hear their stories, their voices, we feel their pain and grieve with them.
While it is tempting to shutter our windows and minds so to be spared what can be overwhelming grief in the weight of the world upon us, we can also remember that we are made in God’s image. When we weep alongside those who weep, we understand better the mind of God–who was right there with those suffering in Moore, Oklahoma today, and with persons in Iraq, Bangladesh, Syria, and so many other places where people suffer.
We can also remember that none of us is asked to bear the weight of the world alone; that instead, God asks us to hold hands and lift and love as one people together, and in doing that, we become unimaginably strong and equipped for whatever lies ahead.
Prayer: O loving God, thank you for being with those who suffer. Thank you for enfolding them in your healing Spirit even among the fury of earth’s greatest storms. Thank you, God, for giving us the privilege of being your hands, heart and mind on this earth. Help us to be be wise, faithful, and steadfast in this duty, and in our connecting, find the peace and love that you provide, that which passes all earthly understanding. We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.
You might like: “Lord, I Just Can’t Keep from Crying,” a spiritual that is prayer of lament sung by Rev. Dr. Twana A. Harris. Perhaps you will find this helpful in times of sorrow.