A Gathering Voices post by Beth Pyles
au·ro·ra – Noun: The dawn
I offer up the only and the best language I have . . . the language of prayer . . .
God large enough to encompass a universe and small enough to fit in a baby’s tiny grasp . . .
We begin not where we want to, with the fallen . . .
No – we begin with the one who felled them . . .
They say his name is James – James Holmes . . . but we know better . . . we know his name is “Beloved” . . . Beloved by you . . . made by you . . . nurtured into being by You . . .
And we know this is not Your image in him which did this ugly thing he can never go back from . . . but we also know that forgiveness is there for him – right there in Your cross – the place where You cried out “Forgive!” – for ‘they know not’ . . .
But the truth is we don’t want You to forgive him – not really – so before we even begin, soften our own hearts that we might bring this prayer to You in a genuine spirit of love for him . . .
Melt him, O God.
Mold him and mold him again until he comes forth restored into Your own image.
Walk with him in the days granted him to come, especially when the enormity of what he has done finally dawns upon his spirit. Help him to bear it.
Send him ministering angels and human hands of care who see him as Your beloved.
And as we pray these things, help us to mean it. Help us to remember and to live out enemy love as Your own divine command for the working of Your kingdom.
Those who have died have no need of our prayers: they now rest into Your care and there is no better, safer place.
But they have left behind loved ones – family and friends, people who will try to make sense of the senseless, who will seek comfort – some from You – and some from anywhere but You. For those already in Your arms, we give You thanks, even as we know they suffer, for we also know their suffering is borne in Your arms.
For those who would claim to know You not, please hold even tighter to them. When they seek out the numbing of a bottle or a pill or a blank screen television . . . if they descend into anger or despair . . . when they turn on each other, make Your healing presence known . . . enter their hearts and lives in ways they cannot ignore . . . answer the prayers they do not even know they are uttering . . .love them as only You can . . .
And we pray for us as a nation . . . help us not to turn on each other . . . remind us of Your nearness especially when we doubt and cannot sense Your presence . . . lead us into Your silence – help us to hear Your still small voice that whispers “I am here” . . . “You are not alone in this – you never were” . . .
Help us to see the breaking of Your dawn into this great darkness.