The prevalence of violence in our communities concerns me deeply. We respond with medical care, social services and legal advice. Perhaps we have missed the most important source of healing; caring for the spirit.
After losing my partner of 34 years in a traumatic event, these prayers emerged over the course of a year as I identified movements (in bold) in my own spirit.
Spiritual Care after Trauma
Healing One, who moves slowly in all that is eternal,It takes days for grief to unfold, and so often we try to escape it. Use these silent moments to let the light of God’s presence shine into our depths. Whether we find confusion or anger or perhaps a firm resolve for living, it is better for these to come forth than to remain hidden. Make each slow breath an opening to remove our inner division and reunite our being. Grief is not taken away but is relieved when shared, and transformed through relationship in community. Help us to find one another in the sharing and unfolding. And, then, when we reach the heart of our experience, find there the power of Loving Presence that holds us all. Amen.
Staying Present to What Is
Unknown Being, who creates and gives life,How is it that the dawn’s last deep sigh opens this morning’s light? There is no pausing to take a breath, no learning to breathe, nor forgetting to breathe, only the constancy of the One giving and receiving breath. Just wait, just watch for it. When it seems there is no hope, there is in reality more Presence than we can take in. The shattering of our hearts is not to be feared. Those deep sighs coming from our depths, are already initiating the opening for the new day. Just wait, just watch for it. Amen.
Slowing Down in Grief
Creator of All, who gives us life beyond our knowing,
Open us to the steadiness of your Presence, breathe in us a sense of strength and peace, for we trust your ways are good and your love is unending. In all that is ahead, slow us down, slow us down, slow us down that we might notice you first and allow you to guide our hearts and minds. Grow your love in us anew. This is the day the Lord has made, let us wait in hope, have patience in trouble and pray at all times.[i]Amen.
Loss of Confidence in God’s Love for Us
Oh God, Unknown One, whose creation desperately needs redemption
Nothing makes any sense. We are not taking a breath, every cell in our bodies anxious with furious vibration, broken bones and torn flesh, every thought numbed. Lead us through this arid wilderness. Can the lost be found? Can the afflicted be comforted or the proud be convicted? Can we be sustained by your promise?
Redeem the images seared in our memories. Create in us new space to be filled by your love alone. Embroider the names of victims on our hearts and in our minds until compassion brings us to new places of hope. Amen.
Loss of Confidence in Our Love for God
Eternal Companion, who is somehow amongst and within me,
I wake with a sense of dread, and walk through the day with the sense of being devoured by cruel currents. I admit that I am unsure if I can love you. Guide me in this struggle. Help me admit that I am empty and unfinished. Rather than allowing my circumstances to build walls, break down my resistance until understanding widens into ways of deliverance and peace. Remind me to persevere in the one relationship that helps me to navigate all the rest. Amen.
Willingness to Accept the Unknown
I will lead the blind
by a road they do not know,
by paths they have not known
I will guide them.
I will turn the darkness before them into light,
the rough places into level ground.
These are the things I will do,
and I will not forsake them.
Loving God, who calls us to follow in faith,
We pause to breathe in your limitless beauty offered in this day, and are reminded of the ways you provide for our comfort and peace. Keep us from complacency and give us courage to follow you, in all times and places, places of joy and light as well as places of darkness and challenge. Knowing that we don’t travel alone, help us realize that each faithful step takes us to our true home, where our meaning and purpose for living is revealed. Amen.