Today the burden of the horror and tragedy of abuse, especially child sexual abuse, and domestic/ family violence have descended upon me. How I yearn for a healthy Australia.
In my despair, I turn to the God of Life who in the words of this morning’s collect is the One who in love yearns for us that we might live in love for one another.
Words are so inadequate to capture the heart, yet my heart and mind crave to form the turmoil and pain and speak it out in plea and passion to God while straining for even the barest glimmer of hope in this darkness.
I turn to my prayer book and ask, however inarticulately, God to hear the deep sentiments of my heart, sentiments so embedded in this prayer –
A Prayer for those suffering abuse
whose Son was both victim and victor,
we cry to you for those who suffer abuse,
(especially…- and I include people I know)
Be with them in confusion and pain.
Heal the wounds of body and mind;
break open the prisons of fear, self-doubt and despair;
and strengthen them to face the future with faith, hope and courage.
Enable us to listen, to believe and to love.
Reach out to them with your love,
that they may be made whole in body, mind and spirit,
through the healing touch of the suffering Christ. Amen.
and I pray this prayer too –
A Prayer for those who abuse
Judge of all the earth,
God of justice,
we bring before you all who abuse others.
Turn the hearts of the violent from the way of evil.
Fill them with a hatred of the damage they do,
so bringing them to true repentance
and amendment of their lives,
for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen.
(From A Prayer Book for Australia, The Anglican Church of Australia 1995.)
In times of turmoil, I also turn for words to express something of my heart, to Archbishop Oscar Romero’s prayer/ poem, A Future Not Our Own (also known as ‘The Long View’).