We lift this prayer, written from the ancestral home of the llini, Miami, Shawnee, Dakota Sioux, Chickasaw, Winnebago, Delaware, Kickapoo, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Huron-Wyandot, and Sac-Fox tribes with full respect for their creativity and courage.
We lift this prayer that will be read within many other geographic and cultural contexts with full respect for the various ways you have inspired leaders and followers to make every human city, and even every human household more like your household, more like the City of God, your city.
We lift this prayer expecting within a few days an eclipse of the sun, and we hope to acknowledge it with the awe Job felt when you answered his feverish complaining with the assurance that there was much he failed to understand.
Indeed, there is so much we fail to understand:
- violent racism in the United States, not to mention fear of migrants,
- indefinite prison in Jordan to ‘protect’ abused women and girls,
- the likelihood of a very long exile for South Sudanese refugees,
- the hundreds dead and missing in flooding and mudslides in Nepal and Sierra Leone,
- suicide bombings in Nigeria,
- those killed and injured in terror attacks in Burkina Faso and Barcelona, Spain,
- the dozens killed and over one hundred injured in a train collision in Egypt,
- illnesses, injuries, and misfortunes, our own and of others.
Jolt us, we pray, out of our uncompromising certainties.
Explode our imaginations with new possibilities.
Teach us to accept those who hold opinions we cannot approve.
Guide us in protecting interests beyond our own.
Forgive us when we are in error.
Love us into joining you with compassion for all creation.