Praying for Refuge

Syrian refugee Mahmoud, in the underground shelter where he lives with his family in El Akbiya, Lebanon, Friday, September 20, 2013. He shares a tiny room measuring 2.5m x 3.5 metres with his parents and eight siblings.

The familiar can be delicate for the innocent,
and too often suddenly lost and destroyed:
homes and roads and neighborhoods
or simply the sense of security which makes a place feel like it’s yours
like it’s a place to stay.

For so many reasons, people depart.
They seek refuge
from a thousand dangers and uncertainties
for themselves and their children
from places they can’t stay
onward to places often unknown.

Let us hold the refugee, the asylee, and the immigrant in prayer:
 May God be with you.
 May your grief and loss be assuaged.
 May the hard road you travel include spaces of rest and security.
 May you know your inherent worth and dignity every day of the journey.

Let us pray for the people who are met along the way:
May they remember how they were strangers too.
May they embrace the pathways of compassion.
May they recall the teachings of the prophets.
May they make room in their hearts and their homes.

And, let us pray for all:
May the news that 70 migrating people were discovered dead in a truck arriving in Austria open our eyes to injustice.
May the image of the body of the 3-year-old Syrian boy Aylan Kurdi make us tremble and wail.
May the plight of refugees in Budapest stir our souls.
May we understand that around the world similar tragedies occur daily, usually beyond our awareness.
May we count our blessings and direct our generous support where there is need.
May we seek partnerships that confront unjust structures and hardened hearts.
May we recommit ourselves to global community beyond all borders.

In human solidarity, and with a firm commitment to the pathways of compassion, may we pray and act unceasingly.