About 10 days ago, we talked about Psalms of Communal Lament in our weekly Zoom Bible study. Lament (crying out to God) is expressed throughout our scriptures. It is a form of prayer that is cathartic and reassuring at the same time.
I encourage you to write you own Psalm of Communal Lament, but for now, here is mine:
Almighty God, Creator of all, things are getting really bad here. Are you paying attention?
When Hagar cried out to you in pain, she called you El Roi—the God who sees. Are you seeing what is happening to your children?
Our neighbors are suffering from fear and anxiety.
They don’t know if they will get sick. They don’t know how they will pay their rent. They have no idea when this will end.
We are no longer able to pretend that we have any control over this thing called life, and we grieve that loss.
Our comforting rituals of gathering–from church services to theater performances to sporting events–have been taken from us.
Our medical professionals are besieged by this virus and lack the equipment and personnel they need to fight this unseen enemy.
Our parents are weary from juggling too many roles from the confines of their homes—teacher, parent, employee, mediator and coach.
Our elders are feeling isolated and alienated.
Our unsheltered neighbors cannot stay at home, as they have no homes. Our prisoners (and those who work with them) are especially vulnerable because of their close quarters.
Our loved ones are dying alone.
God, protect those on the front lines who provide medical care, food and medicine. Protect our truckers, the ones who pick up our garbage and those who keep public transportation moving.
Infuse in us the peace that surpasses all understanding, so that our fear of the virus doesn’t become worse that the virus itself.
Give our leaders a spirit of cooperation, and the courage to do what’s right for the people they serve.
Make the minds of our researchers and the hands of our government move swiftly to develop and distribute more testing materials.
Grant a sense of urgency to those who are mobilizing to make more masks, more ventilators and more of the tools we need in the fight against this growing epidemic.
Deliver us from this invasion that has upended us.
Our trust is in you, O God—even though it may waiver from time to time.
All blessing and honor, glory and might to You, Magnificent God.
We know that You are, indeed, the God who sees.
You are our rock, our peace and our salvation.
We know that we are held in the palm of Your hand.
Rev. Anne Russ is an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church (USA), currently based in New York City. Doubting Believer is an online, inclusive and progressive Christian community. Follow us on Facebook and get emails to keep up with all that is happening.