One of my favourite bloggers is "Velveteen Rabbi", whose real name is Rachel Barenblat. She is an American poet who was ordained as a Rabbi in 2011 and as a spiritual director in 2012. She brings Jewish wisdom and thinking and feeling, but not in any rigid way, to look at the problems of the modern world. I'd also recommend her "70 Faces: Torah poems" as well worth reading.
In the wake of the school shootings in the USA, she wrote this poem, which I am reposting here today, as it speaks with feeling on this, and so much better than I could.
God, let me cry on your shoulder
A prayer after today's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
God, let me cry on Your shoulder.
Rock me like a colicky baby.
Promise me You won't forget
each of Your perfect reflections
killed today. Promise me
You won't let me forget, either.
I'm hollow, stricken like a bell.
Make of my emptiness a channel
for Your boundless compassion.
Soothe the children who witnessed
things no child should see,
the teachers who tried to protect them
but couldn't, the parents
who are torn apart with grief,
who will never kiss their beloveds again.
Strengthen the hands and hearts
of Your servants tasked with caring
for those wounded in body and spirit.
Help us to find meaning
in the tiny lights we kindle tonight.
Help us to trust
that our reserves of hope
and healing are enough
to carry us through.
We are Your hands: put us to work.
Ignite in us the unquenchable yearning
to reshape our world
so that violence against children
never happens again, anywhere.
We are Your grieving heart.
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