For Those Who Wait ~ Military families and friends

inspired by Psalm 38
Deborah Beach Giordano
Memorial Day
© May 30, 2012

O God, turn aside the anger,
do not let violence destroy me.
Already spears have pierced my heart
and fear overshadows my soul;
I am weak with terror,
exhausted from the imaginings
that fill my dreams
and torment my waking hours.

I am sick with worry,
burdened by confusion,
wounded by grief,
my eyes clouded by tears,
I stumble through the day
seeking signs of hope
longing for understanding,
trying to be brave.

I hate, I despise,
television news
reporting death
by the numbers,
nameless,
unrecognizable;
mentioned in passing …
And now here’s Jan with the weather.

Bodies, now,
no longer persons;
remaining unidentified,
lest we imagine them
alive and breathing,
laughing and joking,
in frayed tee shirts,
and worn out jeans.

Only casualties, now
no longer persons;
lest we imagine them
as loved and loving
by friends and family
now deeply mourning;
lest we imagine them
as ours.

In truth there is
no “unknown soldier,”
for every one is ours.
Each death kills us all a little,
those who fall,
fall at our feet,
when they are cut,
we also bleed.

Defend me,
Almighty Savior,
do not let my foot slip,
do not let me slide
into self-pity,
or sink
into the abyss
of stark despair.

You understand
my desperate yearning
for a happy ending,
an ideal ever-after;
You know my longing
for a better tomorrow,
a world redeemed
through peace and love.

Yet the pain
is always with me,
immediate and real
not some distant dream;
fantasies are insufficient,
they have no power
to sustain my courage
and uplift my soul.

I need more faith, Lord,
I do confess it;
I need to trust
that they’re safe in Your hands;
even there, in a war zone,
You are present,
and Your love
shall never fail.

Merciful God,
Fount of All Compassion,
hear this prayer of mine today:
comfort my heart,
soothe my hurts,
release me from my fears,
let Your holy peace take root
deep within my soul.

Give me human strength
and saintly valor
to be patient, loving,
calm and faithful
and to believe
where I have not
yet
seen.

And let there be, I pray,
for all the waiting weary
a joyful reunion
with everyone
whole and strong,
and for all the grieving others,
the blessed assurance
of a heavenly home.

Amen.

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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