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"Grieving Our Lost Children" by Walter Brueggemann

posted Apr 17, 2013, 11:11 AM by Jamie Washam

Another brutality,
another school killing,
another grief beyond telling . . .
and loss . . .
in Colorado,
in Wisconsin,
among the Amish
in Virginia.
Where next?

We are reduced to weeping silence,
even as we breed a violent culture,
even as we kill the sons and daughters of our "enemies,"
even as we fail to live and cherish and respect
the forgotten of our common life.

There is no joy among us as we empty our schoolhouses;
there is no health among us as we move in fear and bottomless anxiety;
there is little hope among us as we fall helpless before
the gunshot and the shriek and the blood and the panic: we pray to you only because we do not know what else to do.
So we pray, move powerfully in our body politic,
move us toward peaceableness
that does not want to hurt or to kill,
move us toward justice
that the troubled and the forgotten may know mercy,
move use toward forgiveness that we
may escape the trap of revenge.

Empower us to turn our weapons to acts of mercy,
to turn our missiles to gestures of friendship,
to turn our bombs to policies of reconciliation;
and while we are turning,
hear our sadness,
our loss,
our bitterness.

We dare to pray our needfulness to you because you have been there on that
gray Friday,
and watched your own Son be murdered
for "reasons of state."

Good God, do Easter!
Here and among these families,
here and in all our places of brutality.

Move our Easter grief now . . .
without too much innocence -
to your Sunday joy.
We pray in the one crucified and risen
who is our Lord and Savior. Amen.

[1] Walter Brueggemann, Prayers for a Privileged People p 61-62.