Though the earth shakes and the mountains tremble
Though the West burns while the East swelters
Though leaders tell lies in exchange for power
Though institutions are assaulted and assailed
Though pandemics feed on denial, preying on the vulnerable
Though yesterday’s answers and solutions are inadequate for new, more complex problems
There is One who remains able, faithful, and closer than a friend
There is One who inspires with hope and empowers with wisdom
There is One who draws forth the best in us, lifting our eyes to recognize a better way
There is One who gives new life, shaping us in the Way of Jesus
Thanks be to God, who is the One
7-29-21, Western wildfires, Jan 6 Police Officers testify, Delta Variant rising
Sometimes things spread like wildfire.
The Summer of 2021 was such a time. Literal wildfires were sweeping the American West. Each year, it seems, they are bigger and hotter, fueled by the warming climate. When I wrote this prayer, we were watching ordinary people flee their homes due to the extraordinary wildfires threatening their neighborhoods. It seemed like the entire Western USA was burning.
During this same season, officers from the January 6 insurrection at the Capital were telling their stories, testifying before congressional committees. Their stories were horrific. We watched the violence and chaos on television, but listening to these officers was chilling. We could still see the trauma and fear on their faces. It seemed like American democracy was burning away before our eyes, especially as some lawmakers practiced denial, ignoring, minimizing, or trying to normalize this outrageous event.
And then the Delta Variant was making its appearance. Though we enjoyed a season of reprieve regarding COVID, it wasn’t to last. This Delta Variant was on a slow burn, heating up later that Autumn, sweeping through the population.
I don’t know about you, but I am significantly helped by describing my experience with God through prayer. Laying out these horrific events before the One who has seen it all, brings comfort. God remains faithful and steadfast, regardless of our life circumstances. I’m reminded of the Psalmists who described mountains shaking and seas foaming, yet continued to trust in Yahweh. Perhaps this prayer is my attempt to reaffirm what we know…God is our rock and salvation, a very present help in times of trouble.
Thanks be to God, who is the One. Amen.