We cradle in tenderness children who are without love or compassion, who must manage life with ill-formed and blunted tools; the lonely who cannot experience the penetration of the wall that envelopes them; and those who are so tired that the ground of their being is consumed by a great weariness. These we remember before Thee, our Father.
Children in our city, our country and our world are in crisis today. There are faces we don’t see; some in the shadows of our streets, runaways seeking refuge from abuse and neglect, turning to predators who do them no good. Abandoned children, without parents to care for them, are shuttled from foster home to foster home, desperately hoping for a loving family. Children that schools can’t reach, who give up and drop out; some turn to crime because they know no other way to survive, and all too often becoming another statistic in the criminal justice system. Young girls and young women who don’t have a sense of who they are or what they are worth, giving themselves for instant gratification or allowing themselves to be exploited or abused.
These children can be found, not just in our city, but in cities and countries throughout the world. During this Lenten Season, as we prepare once again for the death and resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, we lift up all children to God who embraces them.
Help us to be instruments of your mercy and love, reaching out to those who need us most. Help us to be the church for those who are hurting. Where there is brokenness, we pray for wholeness; where there is despair, we pray that there be hope. O God, touch all whose lives are filled with disarray, difficulty and brokenness. Help us to show them through our actions, that your love is constant. Fill them with the sense of your presence, bind their wounds and guide them out of the dark places of life. This is a prayer especially for the children. Amen.
—Geneva B. Hudson, Lincoln Temple UCC &
Peoples Congregational UCC