God Weeps

fog over water

I first wrote this piece after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. I rewrote it for the sorrow in the world today.

350 dead. … 1,000 dead. … 10,000 dead in one prefecture. Trains, boats, entire villages washed away. Thousands missing. How many will have died when the counting is done? My ears hear, but my mind cannot comprehend these numbers … In this place far away from Tennessee, in a country I do not know and may never visit, people are suffering, people are crying.

“A voice was heard in Ramah,
        wailing and loud lamentation,
Rachel weeping for her children;
        she refused to be consoled, because they are no more.”
– Matthew 2:18, NRSV

These words of the prophet Jeremiah apply today, too.

Voices are heard in Tokyo, Sendai, Kesennuma,
        wailing and loud lamentation,
Mothers and fathers, grandmothers and grandfathers,
        friends and strangers weeping …
They refused to be consoled, because they are no more.

What can I say? How can I respond? These grieving, devastated people live so far away. But they are my sisters and brothers. They are children of the Most High, the God who must be weeping, too.

God of Compassion, with you and all the world family, we weep and mourn. Comfort all who are alone or afraid, who wail in loud lamentation, who cry silently. Let us be your heart reaching out to those who grieve. Let us be your hands working to assist those who still live. For you are the God who stands with the least and the lost. Come by here, Lord. Come by Sendai, Minamisoma, Ichihara, and Tokyo. Come by all the places that need your comforting and healing presence. Amen.

Support the Relief Effort

United Methodist Committee on Relief

2 thoughts on “God Weeps”

  1. Beth,
    Thank you so much for reflecting the above. I turned on my computer this morning because after I had a little time to myself I wanted to hear some music by christian bands. The song I was going to listen to is How He Loves Us. Your writing goes along so well with that song.
    God is great and He will. You know how He can move people.
    Peace in your heart, thank you again,
    Connie

  2. In everything bad that happens there are many effects on others. Often I feel that the bad things happen to the few so that the many can learn something, be grateful for what has not happened to them, and to reach for God. I think that “feeling the need” to turn to God is where the blessing of suffering lies, and if we do that, then our reward is worth any suffering. Please Lord, let us turn to you in the face of other peoples suffering!

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