Monday, April 22, 2013

Praying with the News

You've heard that Karl Barth said to "read the Bible in one hand, and the newspaper in the other."

That has been so very true.
And never more true than today.
I feel like every day I am pelted with bad news.
 A young life born able to breathe a day, Stabbings, killings, bombings, blow ups...

And today I learned that a woman I went to college with was murdered yesterday by her husband.       I didn't know her well- but I remember her.  She has a two year old daughter.  My heart breaks.

Every since I saw this my heart and my mind cannot move forward - so I stop and I pray.

I open by bible and flip straight to Psalms.  And I read until God speaks to my pain.

Psalm 4

Answer me when I call to you,
    my righteous God.
Give me relief from my distress;
    have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
How long will you people turn my glory into shame?
    How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself;
    the Lord hears when I call to him.
Tremble and do not sin;
    when you are on your beds,
    search your hearts and be silent.
Offer the sacrifices of the righteous
    and trust in the Lord.
Many, Lord, are asking, “Who will bring us prosperity?”
    Let the light of your face shine on us.
Fill my heart with joy
    when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will lie down and sleep,
    for you alone, Lord,
    make me dwell in safety.
As I read I start crying.  Images of happy families who are now broken, images of smoke and destruction, pain and sadness just flood my heart.

I call my husband.  And we pray together.
I love that on Mondays we have chosen to work from home.  (It is nice to slow down on Monday after Sunday and focus on scripture, prayer, study, and the next Sunday's bulletin and message).

His strong arm wraps around me warm, comforting, secure and he prays.

We rise.

There are things to get done and we can go on with God.

The world holds so much destruction. God Creates.
God is our Creator still creating.
And today is Earth Day.

This morning I met with a man who lost his wife yesterday.
He has over 100 varieties of azalea's.  His home is a museum of Native American art and artifacts. I gathered with the family this morning to plan the Celebration of his wife's life.  I loved being them.  He showed me his treasures.  We walked in the beauty of his garden.

After preschool, I pushed my daughter on the swing.  The wind blew, birds sang, everything was alive around me. 
My heart rejoiced at the beauty of God's presence and my heart ached thinking of a young woman my age who has been robbed of the joy of being with her daughter.

There is so much bad news. It comes and goes and there is a 24hr news cycle that will tell you every detail.  There are smart phone updates that ding and give me bullet points of the brokenness.

I cling to the Gospel.  It is Good News.

I pray and I pray.  I read this Good News.  I hug my children closer.

 The other night I read to the girls about Margaret Mead.  It was from my favorite series of books when I was growing up.  I said to Kevin something about how it would be cool to live in intentional community, to constantly teach our children about love and truth and peace and justice.  Once I made Kevin watch a documentary about Intentional Communities when we were in seminary.  My wonderful introverted husband was not up for it.  I think I daydream sometimes in a grass greener way that if we did life that way we'd have more time, we'd be more intentionally focused on peace.  There would be less destruction… I admire the work of intentional communities…yet I think living in the regular (for lack of a better word) world takes  a lot of courage.

 I love how Rev. Lillian Daniel says, “These people are always informing you that they find God in the sunsets. Well, excuse me, as if people who go to church didn’t see God in a sunset. You know, my take is that any idiot can find God in the sunset. What is remarkable is finding God in the context of flawed human community, and a tradition bigger than you, and with people who may not reflect God back to you in your own image.

I know that in the midst of destruction, we have a Creator God.
In the midst of sadness, death, and heartbreak- I have a Savior whose heart longs for me and who died for us all and who is the architect of hope.
In the midst of all this pain for God’s people, the Spirit pours over a comfort  over the earth.

Almighty God,
Thank you for hope.
Thank you Lord for your love.
As the news rolls in, as we scroll the updates and laugh at cat pictures, we see happy families, and mouth water at recipes gaurd our hearts when we hit the bad news.
We know the reality.
We are not dreamers.  
We are believers.
We do know reality.
We know a reality which proclaims
that love wins, peace pours, and justice rolls down like waters.
We know a reality of Hope.
We pray we will live in and into your kingdom.
May we usher in this hope in every moment.
May your light crack open our dark pain.
We pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I used to say to Bob that the two of us can get through anything together. In truth, we needed the Lord to help. I love that your relationship is full of so much love that you need to share your grief and pain. Inspiring.