Midweek Musings

A Prayer About Us

Dear God,

           As we mark a weekend of memory, help us to be honest about the place we have been in the past and let us be truthful about the people we are today.

            Let us acknowledge that we have become a place where parents must now consider funeral costs for their children’s future, not for the aged mother and father to ease the burden of the inevitable, but for the children themselves. Let us confess that we have become a place where weapons fill shelves at markets and drawers by beds, a place where we smile and nod at the bumper stickers and tattoos claiming allegiance to Smith and Wesson while we harden our hearts at the grief of elementary school students. Let us name that we have become a place where we are no longer nonchalant while preparing for a day at the office or on the playground or at the grocery store, in the sanctuary or on the subway because presently what is ordinary requires vigilance and exit strategies. Keep us from the pretense that we are not a place where we elect leaders whose legacy emerges from safeguarding the protection of the rights of rifle makers more than those of ten year olds, a place where those making and selling guns keep the laws completely in their regard. And O God, even as we point fingers with righteous indignation at places across the world and then kneel to thank you that we aren’t them, convict us with your truth that reminds us with clarity at what we are, that we too have become that place, a place ruled by violence.


And God,

           As we let the thoughts and prayers fall so sweetly from our lips, the right words we have practiced too many times, the right sentiment with just the right number of tears shed; do not let us turn away from the people we have become. A people so desensitized to and uncaring about deeply troubled youth that we do not pay attention to our mental health crisis and the ease with which weapons of mass destruction are located and purchased. A people who shrug at what laws don’t get passed and what consequently becomes our shared national system of values, a constitution we use to keep armed kings in power.

           Remind us that we have become the people we promised we would never be, a people where our pruning hooks are beat into spears and our plow shares into swords and that we now hold high our flag with bright stars numbering scores of the murders of fourth graders and grandmothers and supermarket security guards, and with broad stripes now marking a line of blood stretching across our nation. Even as we stand proud and honor who we think we are in your eyes, let us not turn away from who we really are. We are a people of violence.


Dear God,

           Forgive us. Encourage us. Strengthen us to be a different place, a better people. And if that cannot be done, at least help us see the place we truly are and the people we have undoubtedly become.





You are the light of the world.