I wrote this several years ago after the Indian Ocean tsunami. Sadly, these words come regularly to my mind as, over and over, we face the tragedies and places of deep sadness in our world. I know that, today, like every day, mothers weep for lost children — in Pakistan, Cleveland, Ferguson, New York, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and on and on. I pray that they might know that God is sitting there with them, weeping, that they are not alone.
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more.
—Jeremiah 31:15 (NRSV)
I wake up in the morning to a deep sadness. My ears hear and my eyes see, but my mind cannot comprehend the destruction, the lives lost or disrupted. In places I do not know and may never visit, people are suffering, people are crying. The words of the prophet Jeremiah apply today. Voices are heard in the city and in the countryside. Voices are heard in shelters and hospitals and lonely places, wailing and loud lamentation,
Mothers, fathers, grandmothers, grandfathers, friends and strangers weeping . . . they refused to be consoled, because their loved ones are no more. The grieving, devastated ones are people I may never meet; they live different lives; some follow other faiths. But they are my sisters and brothers. They are children of the Most High, the God who must be weeping too.
Prayer: God of Compassion, with you and all the world family, we weep and mourn. Comfort all who are alone or afraid, who wail in loud lamentation. Let us be your heart reaching out to those who grieve. Let us be your hands working to assist those who still live. Come by all the places that need your comforting and healing presence. Amen.