Lord, how beautiful you are;
how radiant the places you dwell in.
My soul yearns for your presence;
my whole being longs for your light.
Even the wren finds a house
and the sparrow a nest for herself.
Take me home, Lord; guide me
to the place of perfect repose.
Let me feel you always within me;
open my eyes to your love.
(Psalm 84, tr. Stephen Mitchell, 1993)
O God, where is home
and what is safety and repose
for those millions who have fled the insecurities and fears of Syria
and are now encamped as refugees
in other areas of the region?
Are you with them?
Is there any reason for them to know your presence,
under any name, or in any guise?
They are no different from us, O God,
in their longing – in their yearning
for a place of peace and provision,
for nurturing nest and safe shelter
for the most vulnerable among them.
Hold and hide the children, O God, from evil.
Hold and hide the women, O God, from evil.
Hold and hide the men, O God, from evil.
Hold and hide the caregivers, the aid workers, the doctors, the nurses,
the helpers, the healers, from evil.
Hold and hide the hearts and minds of those who can make a difference, from evil,
that they and we in your name and power
may make a difference for good
in this sorrow-filled, desperate time and place.