Over the past weeks with their hurricanes - and now an earthquake - I have been praying with a line from a hymn: Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...
My first day of my novitiate field education placement at Common Art, St. John's, Bowdoin Street, on September 12, 2001. Liz, the priest in charge, is an artist. Two blocks from the State House, the anxiety was almost palpable. Following our service, Liz had us all draw prayer mandalas as we held this disaster in our hearts. I can still envision mine. So much to pray for. So many lives impacted. And I learned there that art, no matter the purely artistic quality thereof, can express prayers of the heart when words will not suffice. It complements the prayer of silence.
And so I made another. Great art it is not. But it is prayer. It is prayer I can come back to.
Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...
Around those in immediate danger.
Around those preparing to face it.
Around those numb with shock.
Around those wild with grief and loss.
Around those frantic to find missing loved ones.
Around those who have found them injured or dead.
Around those standing in the wreckage looking for hope.
Around those working to heal, to repair, to comfort.
Around those seeking a way forward for themselves or for their communities.
Lord, shelter them in the midst of the storm.
Let them know your presence, so very near even now.
|Oh, spread thy sheltering wings around...|