Tuesday, April 16, 2013

When All I Have Are Wordless Groans

Today, this morning, I am reminded of these words:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God (Romans 8:26).

My heart is heavy—lately it is as if the burden never fully lifts—and my prayers are one long wordless groan, rising up from the spirit man, where the ache is the deepest.

I wish I could open up my hands and catch all the pain, close my fists tight around it, and will it away. It’s not my job, I know. It is far too large a call, my hands are too small, and if I am honest, sometimes it’s hard enough to catch all of my own pain.

And so what is there? How can I? Is it okay if I spend my life on the small kindnesses, on doing the most good I can, clinging to the one who can catch all of the pain and repair a world fractured and dark and out of tune?

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
…For this, for everything, we are out of tune. (William Wordsworth)

It feels this way sometimes, doesn’t it? This morning, especially.  And what was so shocking in Boston is everyday life in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and much of the world. Everyday people die, violently, unjustly, at the hands of cruelty and pride, greed and despair.

I am praying for you, Boston, beautiful city that I love, your streets full of my memories. I am standing with your wounded, your slain.  I am praying for you, Iraq, where yesterday you lost 55 of your own in a series of attacks, and we didn't blink an eye, I didn't blink an eye. My prayers may be wordless groans, because I struggle with what to say and how to say it. But I know that he hears them, I know that he is interceding for you, even as my heart hangs heavy within me and at times it feels like too much to bear.

But there is always hope, isn’t there? This picture has been floating around the internet

mister rogers helpers quote

It’s true, isn’t it? He redeems. We partner with him. And he will light up the dark. 

Here are a few lights—

Let's add our own small flame, however we can.

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