May 18 Prayer of the Day

You search them and know them, O Lord.

When they stumble in silence, you hear.
When they have no words, you comprehend them still.
When they hide behind their masks, you are the God who sees.

Your eyes saw their silent, speechless, hidden frames from the beginning.
Your hands wove them in the secret of the womb.
Your book bespoke their days before they felt the sun on their skin.

We praise you, Lord.
Fearfully and wonderfully you’ve made them.

Fearfully, they reflect your image.
Even as they fight against fear in the foxholes and trenches of their brains.
Alongside misfiring amygdalae, neurodivergent circuitry, and scarcities of Serotonin.
They wage their war on mental illness, within. And without.

Wonderfully is your craftsmanship made. Immeasurable of worth.
Humanity falls short in its metrics:
With mortal scales and spectrums,
and definitions like disability, disorder, depression.

Forgive us, Lord, for seeing labels instead of image bearers.
Show us how to search them and know them like you.
As we enter into their suffering,
in this new world of isolation, fear, and sleepless nights. Their world.

As we fasten our physical masks in the days and weeks ahead
and long for a protection less fragile and paper-thin,
may we look with new compassion into the eyes of these
who’ve worn their masks for a lifetime.

These whose fear, trauma, and upending uncertainty
rise exponentially with every Corona case confirmed.
In this momentary solidarity, we see them
and entreat you, Lord:

When they concede to the darkness,
and make their bed in the depths.
When light becomes night to them,
be near – for darkness is light to you.

Search them. Know their hearts and every anxious thought.
When they rise, whether with the wings of the dawn or reluctantly,
come closer still.
And guide them,
your right hand holding them fast.

Holding us fast,
in these uncertain days.
Hem us in, be hind and before,
and lay your hand upon us.

One body.
Fearfully and wonderfully made.

-Nichole Woo