Praying for the runners who came to run 26.2 miles and who are in hospitals now. Praying for those who are in shock, who are in pain, who are wondering if they will walk again. Praying for 170 injured in body, and thousands who are wounded by terror in their psyche.
Praying especially for the families are planning funerals. Praying for comfort and hope, and for them to know and understand the greeting of "well, done, good and faithful servant" as their race came to an early and tragic end. Praying for the mothers and fathers, the siblings, the children, the friends, who gathered to cheer for their finish line and who are in shock, horror and grief. Our prayers are just words until they are heard by a God who cares. We are left without words and are not sure how to pray.
Praying for Watertown. Praying for Boston. Praying for the students, faculty, staff and parents of Harvard, MIT, and Boston University. Praying for communities that are surrounded in terror and fear. Praying for the neighbors, parents, and friends of all those affected by this terror.
For all of us staring at pictures on screens, in horror and shock, seeing children who have become killing machines. Praying for protection from the bad feeling when we see of youth with backpacks and hats and hoodies. Let us see others as sisters and brothers, and not as terrorists. Let us maintain focus on peace and safety, and remove all fear. Give us courage and give us peace.
Praying for Chechnya, for a place that seems far away and mysterious, a place that I have long neglected in prayer. Praying also for the student missing from MIT. Praying for the Tsarnaev family. Praying for the mother and father of these boys. Praying for immigrants and refugees who are fearful of their own status in this country, of the fear of discrimination, retaliation and perception of their guilt by proxy.
Praying now a prayer that is hard, a prayer that Jesus has asked us to pray. Praying a prayer for mercy for us all. Praying for protection and help. Praying for Dzhokhar, who is armed and dangerous, that he may come to peace. Praying that he may stop to breathe deeply and consider his humanity. May he think of the face of those who fed him when he was a child, who prepared his favorite food. May he picture the faces of his mother, of his grandmother, of the smallest and most innocent children in his life. May he feel his arms and his legs, and feel hunger in his stomach. May he look at his collection of bomb-making supplies and see them once again as the cooking implements and construction materials that they are. May he set aside the shrapnel as recycling and set it aside. May he look around him and find some vegetables and some rice to boil in his pots and pans. May he cease to feel anger and fear, and turn himself over to the authorities. May today be the day that he realizes that he is a human being. May he feel within himself a call to begin to be sorry and to sorrow with the rest of the world for these days of grief that we face together.
We may need respite from the news channels of terrorism and explosions, crime scenes, man hunts and fear. I have shared a video of the pilgrimage, life and work of Peace Pilgrim.
In July, my family will be walking this pilgrimage for peace. Please let me know if you'd like to join us.