By Jim Conroy, SJ, of The Jesuit Collaborative
Hurricane Sandy has devastated communities up and down the East Coast, upending our lives in ways that were unimaginable just a few days ago. Such devastation can leave us dazed and overwhelmed, raising questions that are difficult to articulate much less answer.
In the midst of great loss and uncertainty, we search for solid ground, a way out, something to hang onto, some answers. Perhaps we might begin by asking God for the grace to see and understand, by thanking God for being alive, for those who survived, for the generosity and heroic efforts of friends, neighbors and first responders, for the sun coming out again.
We might ask God:
- To give us the grace of wisdom and understanding to know that God is with us in the devastation and of courage to pick up and move forward with our lives
- To help us pay attention to our experience: the confusion and chaos of our lives interrupted, the desolation, the physical and emotional suffering, the loss of lives, of homes that have been in families for generations, of places and things we have treasured
- To console us and others who have lost so much, and to strengthen those who are picking up the pieces, helping save lives and bring back lands, leading and contributing to the recovery efforts
- To restore in us a sense of hope to look forward with longing to the future, toward a brighter tomorrow. And to pray with Isaiah:
See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? – Isaiah 43:19.