Preparing for Worship – Abbey Adcox.
I’ve been carrying a heaviness with me this week. I wonder if you are as well. The news of the world is heartbreaking and we are bombarded with updates on the devastating earthquake in Haiti, turmoil and violence in Afghanistan, unprecedented wildfires in Northern California and our own healthcare system under tremendous stress with the Delta variant. It is a lot. Honestly, it’s too much.
Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber wrote this week, “I just do not think our psyches were developed to hold, feel and respond to everything coming at them right now; every tragedy, injustice, sorrow and natural disaster happening to every human across the entire planet, in real time every minute of every day. The human heart and spirit were developed to be able to hold, feel and respond to any tragedy, injustice, sorrow or natural disaster that was happening IN OUR VILLAGE.” Our connected, global world is overwhelming us. The compulsion to stay on top of every news cycle and every alarming statistic is strong, and while our intent is good, we are left worn out and overwhelmed by the scope of the world’s needs.
I’m so weary that it’s difficult to still myself long enough to pray at length, and instead I whisper breath prayers throughout the day and night. If I’m honest, I feel a little bit guilty about this, but I shouldn’t, because it’s all prayer after all, isn’t it? The breath prayer, the enthusiastic amen, the grief, the joy … each connects us to our neighbor and our loving Creator.
As I read the lyrics to “Lord, Listen to Your Children Praying” by Ken Medema, I am drawn to the refrain of “Send us love, send us pow’r, send us grace.” Maybe that’s just what I need right now. Maybe it’s just what you need too. I know that I hear that phrase running through my thoughts on repeat — a breath prayer of its own.
As we worship today, may we each find rest for our heavy hearts, perhaps enough rest to settle in for a long talk with God. And if we need to rely on breath prayers a little longer, may we trust in the assurance that our God is with us.