Neighbors in Pain
God, give us Jobian humility. Help us stand awestruck- silent- before the mystery of your creation. Help us understand the wildness of your creation, wildness at once as terrible as it is beautiful. Help us see you in the terror and the beauty, knowing as we do the agony of our sin in your life. We have seen that agony in your Son's cross. We know his agony continues still so that our unbelief might not damn us. Help us claim to be Christ for one another, defeating the loneliness in which sin cannot help but clothe us. So freed, make us neighbors for one another. In the pain, in our fear of being out of control, may we discover our ability to need help and in that discovery be enabled to help others. We know normality will quickly return and we will again be OK, not needing anyone else. But sear into our memories the moments when we discern we are not our own and, thus, come close to perfection. Amen.
(excerpted from Dr. Hauerwas' Prayers Plainly Spoken. Originally prayed in the destructive aftermath of Hurricane Fran.)