... Harvey, Irma, or Jose, those whose losses come from the floods of India and Nepal, the earthquake in Mexico, the wild fires in Western United States)
God, we’ve prayed from our depths
mourning lives lost or still missing,
seeking comfort for those who grieve now,
and will live long with the absence
of those that they loved.
God of mustard seed and sparrow falling,
we have another prayer,
one for much smaller losses.
We are sad for the loss
of a favorite doll and so many legos,
for pets that could not be rescued,
and the Dorys and Nemos
in heavy aquariums.
We miss the waterlogged
photo albums of grandparents,
who kept dreams not selfies in the Cloud,
also some of their ashes,
We have tears in our eyes,
almost embarrassed, but not really —
for a boat for work or one for fun,
for wedding presents, trophies,
a bike or a garden,
for the roof of a mobile home
that was perfect to string Christmas lights on,
for a family business slowly built,
for the tourist industry
that kept a whole island alive,
for trees, for so many trees,
blown down or burnt up,
for insured homes and uninsured,
also cars, tractors, trucks,
and just the familiar shape
of the horizon where the sun rises.
O God, can we pray for … shoes,
a mug someone gave us,
the artwork of grandchildren,
the new firepit, the old storybook,
the songs of birds?
And also we pray for small losses
of the heart —
a lack confidence in tomorrow,
at how dirty and broken everything looks,
the pit-of-the-belly fear
at the earth’s changing,
and weariness at starting over.
Thank you, God, for listening.
Send new tourists,
new hope, many helpers,
and our waking to the truth
that you never leave us. Amen.