Heart-broken over the history, protests, outrage, injustice, and image of George Floyd’s death, I wrote a letter to my neighbors with whom my husband and I have been friendly for years. I would like to share it with you and hope it holds some healing in times like these.
Dear (name of our street) Family,
Today, I call you family because my heart is so sad at current events in our nation and the world. And Stephen and I have loved you, our neighbors, since we moved in, in March 2005…. We have had dinners with you, celebrations, funerals, and have prayed for your well-being and faith all these years.
When 9/11 broke 19 years ago, and the twin towers in New York fell, all three of our children were in the military: Marines, Army, Navy. Life stopped. I called all my neighbors in tears and blubbered out a message that my kids were all on duty, and I was having an open door prayer meeting at my house that evening for anyone and everyone who wanted to come. They all showed up looking scared. We simply gathered in our living room, and since Steve was [not home] working his shift work, I just prayed a short prayer out loud and invited others to do so if they wanted. In the end, our Army and Navy children were called to active duty in the war that followed and neither were harmed. Both came home, and there were no casualties in either of their platoons or units.
Once again, I feel compelled to call my neighbors to prayer. I want to pray with you for our community, for Chicago, our state, our nation, and the world. I know we can’t meet together in our home [due to COVID-19 virus restrictions], but I would like to share by email 2 short ancient prayers that have comforted me many times, especially at times when I am so overwhelmed I can’t formulate whole sentences.
I have set my phone to go off at 7:30 pm tonight and invite you to consider joining me in a quiet moment to pray for the family of George Floyd and all the George Floyds who have died of such injustices. We are a nation undone and in trouble. Stephen and I prayed this morning and all I could do was sob. We have lost our minds and our love for one another.
If you would consider it, please join me in your own home to spend a few minutes caring for each other in prayer. If prayer is not your thing, or you are angry with God, I understand. He understands. He has big shoulders and can handle that. Perhaps just reading these 2 ancient prayers will be a balm for you or someone you know. ———————–
Nearly 2000 years ago, a very small band of men sought answers from their spiritual teacher and said, “Teach us to pray,” to which He replied: “After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -Matthew 6:9-13, the Holy Bible
Circa 354 b.c., from Augustine of Hippo, just a phrase from the introduction of his book The Confession:
…you [God] have made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they find rest in Thee.
With love and prayers for us all,
Cathy & Steve ———————-
George Floyd died on the evening of Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th, 2020. I’m going to set my phone alarm for Monday evenings at 8:30 pm, just before my husband has to leave for work, so we can pause and pray for our nation to turn back to God. God, who only can cause change where it is needed most–the human heart.
I invite you to join with me, wherever you are, to lift up the broken families, the painful histories, our nation’s leaders, the need for collective change in our laws, our behavior, and our care for one another. May God bless you as you seek Him.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14, KJV