Jen's Wisdom & A Prayer To Unite Us
This morning at 5:30 and before the sun had risen, I met up with my dear friend, Jennifer Leung, at my mother's coffeehouse. We let ourselves in the back door and I made lattes with milk and honey and then we walked down the peaceful, sleeping streets of our beautiful little town. Jen is the kind of friend you call when you need honest wisdom that you can sink your teeth into (or a soul-satisfying meal made with classical French technique). She listens to me, mindfully and with careful attention. She offers her wisdom in a straight-to-the-point kind of way but with a compassionate spirit and she encourages my often emotionally driven, impatient self to slow down, think analytically and find an appropriate answer. She's a Catholic mathematician. Enough said.
Our conversation this morning eventually landed on the controversy surrounding the sexual abuse cases in Christ Church. I've picked her brain regarding this topic many, many times in the last 7 or so years since I met her and she has always been an invaluable source of support and love for me, something I'm forever grateful for. I mentioned the CREC's plan for an internal inquiry and expressed my doubt that anything good will come of it. It is my strong belief that this situation calls for an external inquiry from untethered parties, but that's not looking likely at the moment. Jen's response was, "Why not write a blog post encouraging parties on both sides of the controversy to pray for those involved in the inquiry?" What a thought. Surely the desire for a fair and healing outcome is something we all share, yes? I agreed that it would be a good thing to do, but I rarely speak of my spiritual or religious beliefs and I'm not a prayer-writer, so Jen, who also happens to be a very gifted writer, wrote "A Prayer For Healing" for me to share here, you'll find it at the bottom of this post.
My focus today is on hope. Hope for change, hope for healing, and hope for prevention of more situations like mine.
If you feel inclined to take a moment to offer up this prayer or a prayer/thoughts of your own, I'd be grateful. Our prayers, thoughts, and intentions have great power and when we begin to focus on the ways in which we may unite ourselves rather than the ways in which we think or believe differently, the potential for healing and growth is profound.
A prayer for healing:
Lord Jesus Christ,
On the cross, you took upon yourself the suffering and pain of our wounded world. When your sacrifice was complete and your side was pierced, blood and water flowed out, mingled together in a healing stream. With faith and humility, we come before you in a time of turmoil, asking
(R) Pour out your healing on us and on all the world.
For victims of sexual abuse, that they may safely grow into open and fulfilling relationships.
For Natalie and all who have spoken openly about dark and difficult things.
For those ministering to victims of abuse, that they may be balm for wounded souls.
For those ministering to perpetrators, that they have the wisdom to protect the vulnerable while offering the wideness of God's mercy.
For those investigating allegations of abuse and the mishandling of allegations, that they may put aside their own biases and make prayerfully considered judgments.
For all who are reading about scandal, that we respond to the suffering of others with acts of prayer and kindness.
For the Universal Church, the Body of Christ, that her wounds may, like those of Jesus, bring healing to world.
We ask these things in the unity of the Holy Spirit, our breath of life.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. AMEN