i close my eyes

because they cry from all over, Lord
because they hurt and the world is breaking
because they keep on taking it, Father
because they ask, "how will we survive the night?"

dear God, please let us close our eyes
and open them again and find this no more
dear Mighty One, please consider your people
and give them breath before they drown

because every day things get worse and
because we are weak and saturated in grief
because more is destroyed and lost and
because there is no end in sight

dear Savior, please save and calm the waters
and give us hope that morning will come
dear Refuge, please move our hearts
and move our hands to the needy

what can we say, do, or think?

three hurricanes and another is coming in the wake.

a massive earthquake whose aftershock its own disaster.

three and a half million people in the dark with no power, water, or communication.

two mad men hurling insults at each other inching closer to nuclear war.

please pray with me for our world. in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus teaches us that wars and famine will increase before “the end” comes, a time when great distress will fall upon the earth before he reveals himself in glory and power and gathers his people. these things, though, are not the end themselves and are just “the beginning of the birth pains.” the beginning of the birth pains!

if we believe what is written in the Bible we need not be paralyzed, as God has been preparing us for these things and will lead us through them, but we should indeed grieve, because we are in the midst of great suffering and can do very little.

the same scripture says that the good news will be proclaimed as a testimony to all nations during these times. what good news could possibly pop up in the midst of all this junk?

i’m sitting here in Vancouver at the moment in tears as i read horror after horror in the news. i’m praying for relief. i’m praying that God have mercy on Mexico, on Puerto Rico, on Cuba, on Texas, on the North Koreans, on the US. i’m sitting here overwhelmed with a feeling of hopelessness, and yet… and yet i know there is hope. the good news? woven through all loss and all disaster and all miscommunication and all brokenness is a thread of hope i know is unshakable and unmoved by circumstance or plan. the God who established the foundations of this Earth can intervene and restore what is broken. this is not the end, not yet, and the Bible teaches us that it is never too late for God to save.

so please pray with me for healing on our planet. please pray with me for mercy. are you feeling moved like i am? please consider “being God’s hands” where they are needed right now and bringing tangible good news to the affected. large parts of Puerto Rico may be without power for months: they will lack clean water, warmth, lighting, means of cooking, means of transportation (even the gasoline network relies on electricity), means of communication, and hope. please consider donating to organizations which are gathering around these recent disasters to rebuild what was destroyed.

are you moved? are you an amateur radio operator or have communication backgrounds? are you mobile/remote/nomadic? are you wanting to share hope and good news to a hurting people? if so, please contact me; i’d like to talk with you.

A prayer for our nation

Dear Lord,

You have taught us that when we set out to pursue our own gain
that we will stumble and strive and find confusion.
You have taught us that when we seek to love one another
and serve one another and pursue the things you care about
that we will find peace and joy and contentment.

But dear Father, right now we have all turned astray from your ways.
We have traded that love and hospitality for fear and a promise of personal gain.

I have walked past the hungry because I was too occupied with my own musings
I have withheld from the needy because I denied how much you have given me
I have desired violence and strife and chaos over harmony because it excites me
I have chosen pain over healing and brokenness over reconciliation because they are easier
I have remained silent because I wasn’t the victim

Because when I stopped thanking you for the bounty in my life
I feared that the comfort I grew accustomed to might disappear
I feared that the story I made up at the time might crumble before me
I feared that there was no one to protect me

Because when I turned my eyes away from you and onto myself
I lost sight of your provisions and strength
I lost sight of the larger story you are crafting
I lost sight of the merciful way you shield me

But none of this is new to you, oh one who is beyond time
and you have seen it in the past and you will see it again
So in this moment our savior, save us from ourselves
and restore among us love, peace, and faith.

For you have given to us in abundance and we thank you for that
and you have delivered to us a story more beautiful than we could imagine
and you have promised us that there is nothing to fear within your presence
and you have waited patiently for us in our wayward wanderings.

Heal this people, heal this nation, heal this heart of mine, Lord
There is no hope lest you intervene
There is no salvation lest you intercede
We are speechless and lost and know only that things are broken
that our best wisdom and effort and ways are nothing
Please lead us home.