As I sit at my desk the news scrolls across my computer to remind me of the terrible devastation by wildfire in the west, Los Angeles area, and Montana and Oregon, while Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc across the islands in the Caribbean, and, heads towards the Florida Keys, Miami, and the U.S. East Coast. Questions arise in the pathway of nature’s fury, evacuate, or shelter in place? The authorities in these locations effected by the storms and fires work tirelessly to prepare their people to survive the fury, and, the meteorologists put everything they have learned into the science of their craft, an impossible task, to predict what nature will do. For me and many others, prayers are in order. Prayer gives me peace in the midst of the unknown, it makes me take a moment out of my human need to be worried and scared, to stop, think, and to share, my hopes and dreams and needs with The Holy One who created me, [us] and, whose love for me, [us] goes far beyond that which I, [we] can experience with my, [our] five senses. My prayers today are informed by Psalm 141: 1-3.
A psalm of David, I call to you, Lord, come quickly to me; hear me when I call to you. May my prayer rise before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. NIV.
Frankly, at times like these I’m not sure what to pray, what to ask of the good Lord? The storms that devastated Houston brought neighbors together looking out for one another, rescuing one another, and showed what we can be as a people when we are all about the common good. Now, other storms are destroying homes, neighborhoods, and cities on the islands and making it’s path toward the coastline of our southeastern cities. We have no power over the winds that stoke the wildfires, and the storms at sea, but we do have the power to work together for our common welfare as neighbors. I think that I shall ask the Holy Spirit of God to do my praying for me with sighs too deep for words as the Christian Scriptures say, oh sure, I’ll be praying, but, asking the Holy Spirit to take my words and make them Holy and useful. I’ll be praying that the Lord will open the eyes of my heart to see new ways to serve my neighbors as we prepare to weather the storms that come our way this week. I’ll be praying that my neighbors remain safe in the midst of the storms.
Life is definitely a challenge to be embraced, to be lived and cherished. No one said life would be easy, and it is not, easy. “A threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12b. United in purpose, with God’s help, we can, and we will, stand together to brave the storms that nature puts before us. Like the baby sea turtle born high up on the beach, who must withstand time, tide and foes, he sets his sights on the mighty ocean, and one stroke at a time moves with confidence to the sea. It is such a huge ocean, and he is such a tiny creature, life won’t be easy; I’ll pray for him too. Lord, watch over everyone in the paths of the storms and fires. Be a strong deliverer for our first responders who put their lives on the line for our safety every day. Calm the storms and still the winds that stoke the flames. Bering us together when all is past and help us help each other. Amen.