When it’s too big (a reflection on Syria)

by Rachel Held Evans Read Distraction Free

When you’ve tried your best to educate yourself,

When the more you learn the less clear it all becomes,

When images of disfigured children creep into your dreams,

When you watch as things get politicized and theologized and shoved into 140 characters,

When you want to love your enemies but don’t know how,

When you’ve sent money for the refugees but feel foolish for the smallness of your efforts,

When you'd like to think you would open your doors to them, but aren't really sure you would, 

When you catch yourself worrying about what to wear, what movie to see, 

When you doubt yourself, doubt your government, doubt your pastor, doubt God,

When you hate how the news has made graphics and theme music,  

When you realize that your opinion will do nothing to change the matter,

When your utter helplessness follows you around like a dark presence and laughs at all the empty things you say,

When it’s just too big….

All that’s left is prayer and fasting.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

All that’s left are tears and ash.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

All that’s left is to acknowledge your smallness.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

All that’s left is to sit in quiet with the world and beg for peace and wisdom and clear paths.

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s enough because it’s all that’s left to do.

So be faithful, and do it. 

Be helpless for a while.

Be at God's mercy and pray.  


This is what I've been telling myself lately because I feel so totally baffled and helpless by the situation in Syria. Pope Francis has called for a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria, in the entire Mideast region, and throughout the whole world to be held on Saturday, September 7th, and I’m inclined to join...mainly because I have no idea what else to do. 

Also, while I cannot believe that Christ is in sarin gas or airstrikes, I believe Christ is in the stranger, the foreigner, the poor, the sick, and the hungry, so consider praying especially for Syria’s refugees and supporting the people and organizations caring for them. (See The UN Refugee Agency, World Vision, UNICEF, Doctors Without Borders, and Samaritan’s Purse.)

Does anyone have appropriate prayers to share?  

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