Prayer for September 11, 2001

Path of the Friend

Elias Amidon



Oh God pray for us,
God beyond the God we don’t believe in,
oh God who beats our hearts, who blinks our eyes,
the One who flames the billion billion stars
and cries our tears, oh God of infinite mercy
pray for us as we die,
we who are caught in this fury, this impossible collision
of jet and tower,
ignite in us your light as the force explodes our bodies,
receive us in your safety
as the weight of our collapsing world crushes every memory, every wish,
the steaming cup of coffee waiting on our desk, our weekend plans,
receive us –  stockbroker, cook, secretary, fireman –
pray for us in our surprise
as we hurtle back to what we were before we were,
oh help us die beautifully, as we die,
into your sudden light bring us home.

God pray for us still here,
pray for us as we gasp, mouths open like babies,
seeing the impossible wrath of weight,
the inferno falling,
pray for us as we look up from our lives,
from our homes and schools and workplaces,
from our lawns and freeways,
as we look up from the dust of Kabul and Khartoum,
from our shanty towns and cardboard walls,
pray for us as we see
this repetition of ancient unkindness,
our judgment on ourselves,
oh pray for us.

May sorrow break the hearts of we who are the killers,
may sorrow break the hearts of the perpetrators,
may we weep to have done this to each other,
may we weep for the cause that would cause us
to stab with knives on a clear Tuesday morning
and drop from the sky this bomb of people,
may we weep for the hurt we have suffered
and the hurt we have made others suffer,
oh God pray for us and break our hearts with sorrow
for the lineage of dominance and greed
that has caused this to happen, this rage
that has crazed us with hatred, oh pray for us God,
forgive us.

We who are left to pick up their bones,
pray we remember their calling us,
dialing their phones as they dropped from the sky,
calling “I love you, I love you,
take care of the children, take care of yourselves,”
pray we remember their words,
“I love you, take care of the children.”

Oh God stop our hands on knife and trigger,
stop our hands with sorrow,
break our hearts so we weep and in grief
learn the justice of mercy,
oh God show us mercy, show us no one is other,
neither enemy nor stranger nor even
who we, in the birth of your mercy, reveal.
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