I Lit Two Candles

2016-07-09 I Lit Two Candles

I lit two candles for so much sorrow. I haven’t been able to pray because I don’t know how to ask God for anything beyond mercy.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

I lit one candle for those we’ve lost, those brought down, those left behind;
And one candle for those who’ve taken, those who’ve destroyed, those who’ve slain.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

I lit one candle for those left bleeding, those who’ve fallen, those who are crushed;
And one candle for those who’ve oppressed, those who’ve stolen, those who’ve pulled the trigger.
Lord, have mercy. Christ have mercy.

I lit one candle for those in grief, those in fear, those at a loss;
And one candle for those in torment, those of anger, those who hate.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

Two candles, side by side. One flame stands tall, strong, reaching for something more, and I understand. The other flame shudders, gasping, weak, and I understand. I don’t  know how to ask for anything beyond mercy, for the men and women who have died with bullets in their bodies, for people around the world whose bodies have been crushed beneath rubble, for families and friends left with holes in their hearts, empty seats at their tables. I don’t know how to ask for anything beyond mercy, for those who feel hatred so deep that they would take another’s life, for those who don’t see people but targets, for those who have let fear and lies run their lives. I don’t know to ask for anything beyond mercy, for all of us who do cry for justice but do nothing, for all the times we refuse to break down broken systems, for the ways we look to place blame instead of checking on our own hearts. We are all guilty in playing a part in this broken world.

None of us is perfect, all have wronged, but all, truly all, are made in the image of God.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

How is the world filled with so much hate? It seems to be rising all around us and from within us. I know the antidote is Love, I see it, I feel it, but it seems to be losing the race right now. I lit two candles because I haven’t been able to pray, even though I’ve wanted to. I want to beg and to cry, lament and rage. But I can’t come to the throne of the One most grieved and beg and cry, lament and rage. So I come and I sit in the dark at His feet, quiet, desperate. Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.

I watch the flames, both strong and struggling, dance shadows across the walls. The room is dark but for two little lights, one for those who’ve fallen to the evil inside themselves and one for those who’ve fallen at the hands of those who’ve fallen to the evil.

I lit two candles for so much sorrow.


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