Our hearts are heavy this day and tears are close to the surface as we watch the unwatchable, think about the unthinkable, bear the unbearable, cry out for solutions to the unfixable. Our groanings are too deep for words. Tears come at the oddest moments. Despair crouches at the door, waiting to set up shop in our souls.
We feel the pain of centuries of indignity, racism, hatred, prejudice, and violence against those with darker skin in our country. We ache over the conversation parents feel compelled to have with their young, black sons in order to keep them safe during a routine traffic stop. We weep together as thousands take the streets to express the anger at injustice and the fact that so often we have averted our eyes when injustice shows itself in order to sustain clean, comfortable lives. We lament that so often we have failed, our communities have failed, and our churches have failed to speak prophetic truth on behalf of those suffering from injustice.
The time of timidity is over. The time of cowardice is over. God prepares his people with opportunities and moments to speak clearly to the world about how the Good News of Christ transforms our hearts, lives, and actions.
Today, we find ourselves in such a moment, in a time where we must speak the truth, to point out the sin of racism plaguing our nation and commit ourselves to uprooting it. We know that we are incapable of ending racism and transforming callous hearts in our own strength, so we petition the Holy Spirit to guide, direct, and empower us. Our Church is committed to overcoming fear, hatred, and violence with the cruciform love of Christ. May the world know that we are Christ’s disciples because of our sacrificial love for one another. We submit ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit, asking God to renew our minds.
Help me, God. Help us. Help the people of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Help our nation. Help us examine ourselves. Help those of us who are sad and angry not to let these deaths be in vain. We do not pray for vengeance, but we do thirst for justice. We hope for healing between neighbors and officers called to protect and serve. We long for the day when young men will live long enough to be old men and parents will not have to say goodbye too soon.
My hope is in you, God. Deliver me from all my fears. O God, come quickly to help us. O Lord, come quickly to save us. In the name of the one who came that we might have life and have life more abundantly.
Lord Jesus, come quickly.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This prayer of lament was composed by the Missio Mosaic staff and shared in the network’s churches on Sunday, May 31, 2020.