Advent prayer for the girls of Nigeria

Thursday, December 11, 2014

For Blessing, Debora, Rebecca,
Tabitha, Esther, Ruth, Gloria,
and another Gloria,
for Kwanta, Nguba, Naomi,
two more Naomis, Rejoice,
another Gloria,
more than two hundred more …

for these girls taken in April
from school in Chibok,
for each of them
where they are right now,
as weeping parents are told
in their “marital homes,”
I pray –
this first Christmas
they cannot celebrate –

imagesfor each a star shining on this life –
perhaps hope of escape
or a kind husband or co-wife,
the discovery of the many stories
of Maryam and Isa
in the Qu’ran,

perhaps a child of her own
soon lying in her arms –
O God, this makes me very angry,
but it may be sweet for her —

just the sun shining in the morning
on her face,
a memory of mother, father,
the knowledge
that all around the world
her name will never, never be
forgotten. Amen.

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