When awful things happen
O God, our minds are still reeling from what has happened.
Yesterday everything was normal and now this! We don't know how to handle it, or which way to turn.
How could you let it happen? Was it our fault? Were we careless, or did we break some taboo? Is it punishment for our sins, or were we just unlucky?
If we can't see your face or your hand in what has happened, don't let us say in our anger and hurt, "There is no God," or "God doesn't care." Teach us again that you come to us unseen and unheard, using the hands, the voice, the resources of others to do your work.
Remind us of Jesus who claimed no privileges, but was himself despised, misunderstood, rejected, forsaken and brutally done to death, yet through your power came back from the dead. "Because I live, you shall live also," he said.
Remind us that we are never God-forsaken, that there is always the possibility of taking up life again, of reconciliation, of a second chance, that those we love are still in your care. Meantime, deliver us from self-pity, and give us the courage to hang on in there.
In our darkness, be our light.
We say together the words Jesus taught us:
Our Father who art in heaven . . .
© Selwyn Dawson
From "HELP! a First Aid kit of prayers"