O God, why are you silent? I cannot hear your voice;
the proud and strong and violent all claim you and rejoice;
you promised you would hold me with tenderness and care.
Draw near, O Love, enfold me, and ease the pain I bear.
Marty Haugen/ Tune: Herzlich mich verlangen
O God, O Love, sometimes in these difficult days, it feels like you are both silent and absent. All around us in this world of ours, in this world of yours, there is pain and suffering, confusion and violence. It seems like the forces of evil are triumphing over good; seems like despair is winning out over hope. And yet, to whom else shall we go, Holy One? Who else will hear our prayers with love and compassion? Who else will understand our pain and hold us tenderly?
Through endless nights of weeping, through weary days of grief,
my heart is in your keeping, my comfort, my relief.
Come, share my tears and sadness, come, suffer in my pain,
oh, bring me home to gladness, restore my hope again.
It is because you love and understand that we can pray for this world and its peoples. And so we pray for the disabled people in India – most of whom are Dalits, the untouchables- who, especially during this coronavirus pandemic, are struggling to obtain the basic necessities of life: food, medical care, housing.
We pray for the people of Armenia and Azerbaijan where fighting has once again erupted over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region.
As Covid-19 deaths worldwide reach one million, we pray especially for the people of Israel, Spain, Brazil, England, and Scotland, where an upsurge of the virus is causing more closures in response to increased cases and deaths.
We pray for the people of Rwanda, as- at long last- one of the long-time genocide suspects, Felicien Kabuga, is being extradited so he can be brought to justice for his role in the 1994 genocidal murders of nearly one million people.
We pray for the tens of thousands of women who continue to be raped in India each year, and for the work of activist and advocate Yogita Bhayana, as she works with survivors and provides a voice for them in court and with the government.
We pray for the protestors in Venezuela, as anger mounts over fuel shortages (with people waiting in lines for a long as 13 hours) and shortages of safe drinking water, while the government does little or nothing to provide assistance.
We pray for those in the United States dealing with the numerous wildfires in the West, with the results of the increasingly-strong hurricanes along the Gulf and East coasts, even as many leaders continue to deny the reality of climate change and its effects upon our planet.
Yet, despite the sadness and discouragement, we can joyfully pray for 7-year-old Cavanaugh Bell, who set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds and supplies to take trailers filled with COVID-19 supplies to the South Dakota Pine Ridge Reservation (one of the poorest places in the U.S.) because “they need things there.” May we be led to follow where a little child leads us- to a place of caring and hope and help.
May pain draw forth compassion, let wisdom rise from loss;
oh, take my heart and fashion the image of your cross;
then may I know your healing through healing that I share,
your grace and love revealing, your tenderness and care.
O God, O Love, even in these difficult days we know that you hear us, that you care, and we ask that your love and compassion and justice may be incarnated in us, as we go about the work of healing your world and all its peoples, to work for the coming of the your Reign on this earth. Let it be so. Amen and amen.