Eternally faithful Father,
I come to You humbly and honestly, knowing You will meet me right where I am. Today is a day of raw emotions. Emotions that have found their way to my fingertips via the first few lines of a beautiful poem by George Herbert, called The Altar. Lord, I let the words of George Herbert start my prayer ad guide my fingers, and found a broken altar in my heart.
Heavenly Father, right now I am afraid. I am afraid that the world is never going to be the same again. I am afraid, that I don’t know how long I must go without seeing, hugging, touching and simply being near some of my loved ones. I am sad that I have to miss them. I am sad that people are dying, I am afraid because they seem to be dying more and quicker, the virus is spreading and growing more deadly.
A broken altar Lord, I build,
from the pieces of my shattered heart,
glued together with salty tears.
With my fears I have filled the cracks
and my anger has etched its decorations
I am sad and angry for the hospital workers, who are working so hard to heal the sick, to care for them, and to prevent others and themselves from getting sick in the process. While at the same time some people on the streets, and in the stores are not keeping their distance, are standing too close together, hugging even, and wearing face masks the hospital staff desperately need.
It is not fair Lord. I know you never said it would be, and I know that the people may need that closeness. I know that being stuck at home sucks, that having virtually no social interaction is mind numbing. That on top of that they are afraid, just like I am, about so many things; from getting sick, to missing loved ones. Add to that that we have no idea how long this will last, how it will develop or what will change in the process and it is no wonder that people want to leave their house. Especially with this gorgeous sunshine You have sent us today. I should be grateful for that sunshine, and on any other day I would be Lord. But today, this week, what good is sunshine when we cannot, dare not, and should not enter into it for the sake of every single neighbor we can count in this world.
At this table, this Altar, of wine and bread,
I offer up to you my anger, my dread
Catch my tears in the palm of Your hand
And mend this broken heart.