Based on Adam Elsheimer’s ‘The Stoning of Saint Stephen’.
Repeat in us the assurance that this house is not our home,
that no harsh word is without consequence,
and that no trial stands without divine reason.
When, rooted in our heart, the longing to pray for strength
comes to the forefront of all our decisions,
may we not linger on incisions
done by others who know not of the pains they gift and carry.
Of all it is easy to succumb to,
remind us, Oh Lord, of what is true
when in our sorrows, the water of hope transcends our pain
and in so doing, demonstrates a recovery that calls others to your healing.
Of all time is stealing,
let no moment be wasted for the taste we have yet to know.
Press upon our conscious mind
the eternal in our ephemeral days,
the weight of a gesture
and the need to pursue light above our own demise.
When, upon internal eyes
the solution to make wrongs right
and the courage to extend kindness to those who afflict the small is known.
When all are deserving of compassion,
have us show no greater compassion to one.
Once a witness to tragedy,
stir in us the warning to hold fast to the faith.
As we seek justice, imbue our words with freedom
and help us step with a determination that is not of our own understanding.
Might our past failures become an encouragement to others,
and victories, a reflection of your glory-
as we preach the humility
that all wisdom predates our person and reflects not us,
but you who are the author of truth.