“For all who are forgotten by us, but dear to you:
We entreat you to hear us, good Lord.“*
I think of the pain and loss that relentlessly pepper the headlines. Of those victims of senseless violence and unimaginable cruelty in the Middle East, in the Ukraine, and behind closed doors in our own neighborhoods.
I think of unexpected illness, lives cut short, and loss and disappointment for which there is no rhyme or reason.
And then I look at the beautiful youth who have come to church camp this week. Even in their own short lives and families, they have experienced pain, loss and disappointment.
But there is also grace. Tremendous grace. There is the loving embrace of a community that says: You belong. We are family. We are friends.
My prayer is that these young ones come to experience authentic love in a deep and profound way. That we all come to know and experience the love of God who never forgets, who is always present, even in our darkest hours.
Give us strength and grace to search your heart, O God, and may we be blessed to find you in our neighbor.
*From The Wideness of God’s Mercy (pp 278-9) by Jeffery W. Rowthorn.