Highlights

A Prayer from a Heart in Pain

Mar 2005    

NASHVILLE – The tidal waves that struck countries along the Indian Ocean prompted the Rev R. Randy Day to set aside an earlier text he had developed for a New Year’s message. Instead, the General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries, The United Methodist Church, wrote his 2005 New Year’s message in the form of a prayer.

The full text follows:

HOW, O God, can we joyously greet a new year
When thousands of Asians lie dead on the shores?
How can we sing songs?
The earth shakes, and the tides roar, and children
Vanish from their mothers’ arms to perish in the deep.
How can we rejoice?
Homes and hearths are gone from Thailand to Africa.
Sumatra and Sri Lanka are islands of death.
How can we be happy?
Parents in India wail for their little ones;
Little ones in Malaysia search for their parents.
How can we eat and drink?
A generation of Indonesians vanishes in a flash;
We are numb with disbelief and agony,
How can we dance?
We cannot go on, O God, except for our trust in You.
The pain is too great, the tears too heavy,
We cannot go on,

Unless we hold fast to your love and find hope In
Your promises of eternal care and consolation;
Unless we anchor ourselves in the strength of faith.
The pain is too great, the tears too heavy,
Unless in faith we respond with love and care,
To the fathers who have lost their daughters,
And the sons who have lost their mothers.
How, O God, can we not greet a new year with Thanksgiving
and wonder at your steadfast love?
Even in times of bewilderment and terror
You go with us up the mountains and into the sea.
Without You, O God, we are nothing but tumbling Stones upon the sand.
With You, O God, we find purpose in life and in death,
And greet tomorrow, greet another new year,
Confident in You through our tears and pain.
You alone, O God, are a sure foundation.

—By R. RANDY DAY

 

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