grief and prayer

When God Grieves with Us

I took this picture on the way home Saturday afternoon. The clouds, draped over the Ko’olaus, so full of sorrow, so heavy with tears. As if they knew today, Sunday, would come.
My own heart that evening felt overwhelmed with emotion. I cried Your tears during worship at church on Saturday night. My home church, my safe place. I cried because You knew what was about to transpire. My body at the brink of exhaustion, my head pounding – the pain masked as my own.  I now know the pain, these emotions, they were Yours.
As I slept, the clouds opened and unleashed Your tears. Tears of sorrow for those left behind. Tears of mourning for those asking “Why” Tears of pain for an understanding not yet arrived. You cried for us all.
It is now Sunday afternoon as “Pray for Texas” fills my newsfeed. I sit here refusing to read beyond that. I don’t know it all, but I sit here knowing enough. Lives were lost unexpectedly. Many lives. Our country is in mourning once more.
I sit here numb as a part of me sighs, “Here we go again.” I sit here thinking about the people who have grown weary of praying. People who feel tired, frustrated, exhausted. People who can’t see You answering. People who tire of falling to their knees. People who have given up. My tears of sorrow mix with Yours for those who have lost loved ones. But even more so, we cry for those who have lost their way and lost their faith.
But You know. You knew from the beginning that our end days, the days that now number over two thousand years, would be filled with sorrow, filled with trial, filled with anger, hurt, and tears. You know that all this was meant to come to pass in order to fulfill what is right and what is good.
Dark moments fill our world everyday. You know it is to come. So let us turn our hearts. Let us pray not just for things past, but instead for things to come. I praise You in the sorrow. I worship You in the pain. I pray for the hearts of the people – all of Your people – to return to You, to come back to You, to seek You above all other things. I pray for forgiveness for us all.
I pray for those whose lives have been lost to violence. I pray for those who have lost a child. I pray for those who have lost a friend. I pray for those who have lost a parent. I pray for those teased, belittled, harassed, feeling as if they have no where left to turn. I pray for those cast out by their community – by their families. I pray for those who have suffered injustice. I pray for those who have lost everything. I pray for those who feel like they don’t belong. I pray for those who feel they have nothing left but to hurt themselves or to hurt others. I pray for those who mask their suffering. I pray for those who have lost their son, their daughter, their friend, to suicide. I pray for those whose hearts are filled with anger and vengeance. I pray for those suffering in silence.
I pray for those who feel there is nowhere to go. My heart aches for them.
Let us remember we are not just Your people, but we are Your hands and feet.  Let us no just pray. Let us do. Let us stand and be called to action – the one action that erases all the darkness of this world. Let us fill our souls with Your light, Your will. The hope that is You.
Let us remember You grieve with us. You mourn with us.  You weep with us. You fought FOR us. You DIED for us. Jesus wept. Not because of Lazarus’ death. No. He knew he would be brought back to life. But He wept for the souls that mourned. He wept for the broken hearts of this world.
Through it all You Loved and Love Your people unconditionally. You show mercy. You forgive us. You give us grace. You are faithful. Let us hold onto that light in this darkness.
You gave us one task. Love. To Love You and to Love everyone else. Your people. ALL people.
Let us be Your hands and feet and Love like You. Let us be the light – Your light.
For then we can truly turn away the darkness.

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