News from the Phillipines reports the destruction and deaths caused by two powerful earthquakes on April 22 – 23, 2019. Monday's magnitude 6.1 quake struck Pampanga province, north of Manila, as well as the capital itself; at least five people were killed when a supermarket collapsed. Another 11 people died elsewhere and others are still missing. Tuesday's 6.4 magnitude quake centered on the Eastern Samar province.
News from Mozambique on April 25 reports Tropical Cyclone Kenneth is making a catastrophic, unprecedented strike in northern Mozambique just weeks after Tropical Cyclone Idai's catastrophic storm surge and rainfall flooding swamped parts of central Mozambique.
And so we pray this news . . .
"Have mercy on me, God;
have mercy on me
because I have taken refuge in you.
I take refuge
in the shadow of your wings
until destruction passes by."
-- Psalm 57:1 (CEB)
Our hearts are grieved. Fear, terror, and destruction have ravaged our homes, our communities, and our world. Fathers and mothers lives have been taken innocently. We confess our sadness in the things we do not understand. This mourning is indescribable but in the tender places of our heart, we surrender our pain to you.
When we do not know what to pray or how to pray, we cry out to you. From the depths of the innermost recesses of our soul, we approach you, source of mercy.
Reveal to us your goodness. Reveal to us your protection. Reveal to us your peace.
We hold the first responders, spiritual leaders, and compassionate care providers in our hearts. And prayerfully request a divine grace to energize each person and interaction. Let these be days not marked by disaster but by the power of compassion in those who are caring for the hurting. For those who are still missing and yet to be found, grant them hope, and help them to experience your presence with them.
Grant us perseverance and sustenance to not turn a deaf ear to the cries for help. And let us become the neighbors the world needs. We know we are but single persons with limited resources but even in our limitations enable us to love without bounds.
This day is yours and with all the heartache it contains, we give it back to you.