our untested faith affirmations: a prayer after suicide

God, we do not all know
the disheartened life.
For many of us (most?),
discouragement is a passing reality,
and grappling with distress and despondency,
not definitive of our days.

So we pray for those
whose life circumstances define misery
beyond our imagining,
for those whose personal history
has left scars and blind spots
and unconscious reactions and ways of behaving,
for those whose bad choices and lasting consequences
have drained them of hope and the belief in possibility,
for those who have known betrayal
to no longer know trust,
for those whose limits exceed their options,
for those whose personalities keep them on a dangerous edge,
for those whose chemistry drives them
through ongoing often reckless attempts to find balance,
for those whose restlessness keeps them ever moving,
ever searching ….

We pray for those who live with all this,

and for those who can’t.

We pray for the consistency
of our belief and our affirmation
that You are the one
with us all
in and through all—
who desires to bring us home
even from pits of despair—
within the worst of circumstance—
that You are the one,
working always,
to free us from our desperate longings for something—
from the addictions that trap us in our efforts
to make it on our own,
from the frustration and fatigue of ever-grasping
for peace and fulfillment in the wrong ways.

We pray also for the humility
to acknowledge faith claims
that remain, in our own lives, thank You,
relatively untested,

and the integrity to trust the mystery of You
through not just our pain but others’,
not just through the affirmations we make,
others do or don’t make,
but, even more so,
the affirmations You make—
always have—always will—
through the love that is Your promise
and Your presence.

So from the despair we cannot comprehend,
ashes to ashes, dust to dust,
yes,
mortal truth,
within which rings also—
from love, through love, into love—
yes,
Your immortal truth.

Thank You, and
amen.

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