We have come to worship you, Lord our Shepherd. You, Lord, are our shepherd. Like any shepherd you watch over us, lead us to the best pastures of the mind, the best waters for the spirit, and like sheep we follow. Sheep are not stupid and neither are we. Forgive us our tendency to act as we think sheep act: without thought and foolishly. Remind us that a sheep knows where to find the best grass, not the greenest or lushest but the most nutritious, and so do we. So we turn to you, our shepherd, bringing our problems and our prayers – this we can do.
At least three people have died and more than 100 people have had to be rescued after days of heavy rain and high winds in New South Wales. As rescue and clear up continue, this we can do – we can pray.
Iran’s foreign minister has called for “urgent humanitarian assistance” in Yemen, after Saudi-led coalition warplanes struck Houthi rebels across Yemen in fresh raids, two days after announcing the end of a month-long air campaign. This we can do – we can pray.
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile has erupted twice in the space of a few hours – having lain dormant for decades. This we can do – we can pray for the farms and water supply threatened by ash fallout.
In drought hit California, U.S., as Governor Jerry Brown, warns it will take “unprecedented actions” to solve the crisis. This we can do – we can pray for those fighting, fearing and fleeing wildfires, especially where there is insufficient water to prevent or douse them.
As hundreds of Zimbabwean nationals fleeing attacks in South Africa are being processed in a border town in Zimbabwe, soldiers have been deployed to volatile areas in Johannesburg and KwaZulu-Natal in a bid to quell anti-immigrant violence that has killed at least seven people in several weeks of unrest. This we can do – we can pray.
A 29-minute video released online from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) last Sunday shows two groups of dark-skinned captives – Ethiopian Christians in Libya. Ethiopia is spending three days mourning, with joint Christian and Muslim prayers, for the 30 or so Ethiopian Christians believed to have been killed by this group. This we can do – we can pray.
What can we do, Shepherd? This we can do – we can pray. You have given us minds to think, understand and invent. And if we question, “What can I do?” remind us:
What can one man do? Well, one man, Kenton Lee, thought about shoes and found a way to make shoes grow. You can read about the project here: http://becauseinternational.org/projects/the-shoe-that-grows
What can one woman do? Well, one woman, Maggie Mangassarian-Goschin, saw a Turkish rug last year and unraveled the history of the United States’ first humanitarian aid effort – what one, or a few, can do.
What can we do? This we can do – we can pray. We can think, understand, invent and pray. Alleluia. Amen.