Written by: The Rev. John Tamilio III, Pilgrim UCC (Cleveland)
In the midst of broken rubble and broken bodies
we offer you this prayer of intercession, asking
that you hear and hold all that we tender — this
our prayer for the people of the Republic of Haiti.
Images flash across our television screens:
images of bloated corpses lining city streets;
images of buildings reduced to gray ash;
images of tear-streamed and bruised faces
looking for answers where there are none —
children searching for parents, parents for children,
friends for companions, the disparaged for a modicum of hope.
Our hearts are famished, O God, and we feel futile.
We succumb to thoughts of inability, and yet we know
that you call us to be Christ’s Church in the world,
to be a people who put their faith into compassionate and passionate action.
And yet we confess, that 1,700 miles seems an impassable chasm.
What can we do? How can our hearts and hands
reach out to the victims of such a horrific natural disaster?
We can send funds, O God, for humanitarian relief,
dollars that are desperately needed, monies you would have us share,
but this does not seem to be quite enough. We desire
in the core of our being, to do more and to be more.
And so we find — during times like these — that our most faithful response
is to offer prayers for those who suffer as well as those at the site of destruction
who are trying to ease the adversity: those who bring medicine and water;
those who bring clothing and food; those who bring engineering expertise and comfort; those who are ambassadors of hope and envoys of peace.
We pray for them. Unite our spirits with theirs, O God, and may your Holy Spirit of grace and mercy rain down on a nation that has always sought strength through unity.
We ask this, and all things, in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus the Christ,
the One in whose name we forever rejoice to pray. Amen.