Here in Colorado, I breathe thick orange haze of Western wildfires, even as Texans stumble through water-logged debris, and evacuees flee Florida. With all its warts and weaknesses, America is the country I love. Generations of my family fought for the freedoms I cherish today. I’ve traveled the world and witnessed first-hand the alternatives to democracy. I never take my country for granted, and my heart breaks in prayer for this place I call home.
A Prayer for My Country, based in Psalm 95
Oh, God, all of this heaving, whirling world is yours, from the heights of quaking mountains to the depths of churning seas. It all belongs to you, created by you, held in your gaze, touched by your fingertips. And how we need you now as fury bears down upon us, breaking through the cracks of its instinctive gasping…
The sea is yours for it is you who made it
And your hands formed the dry land…
Your hands formed the dry land, trembling before the wrath of the sea. We tremble in fear that people who breathe today, won’t tomorrow; oh God have mercy!
Let us as a nation grieve how far we veer from you, as far as the depths of the sea churn where they don’t belong, deep into what should be dry land. And yet, still we were created by you, we belong to you, every last rebel heart belongs to you.
Oh God, soften our hearts.If terror must be the flame that melts our hearts like wax, melt us into remembrance that we are but sheep and you are the only true Shepherd who can lead us. We have received blessing after blessing from your hand, and yet we turn away like surly children, wanting it our own way. Havoc seeps through the fissures as we receive what we want; even as what we desperately need evades us. Forgive us, Lord.
And yet, still, you are there. You stand in our midst, longing for the return of each and every one, each person – your most beloved, You stand in highways filled with desperate evacuees, beside demolished homes, in the ashes of raging fires, and with broken hearts of survivors: calling each one of us by name, weeping with us.
Let us hear you! Let each and every heart fall, one by one, toppled into your goodness. Let us cry out:
For the Lord is a great God!
For He is our God!
Oh Lord, have mercy.