A Prayer to the Chaos God

baltimore_at_night

Dear God,

We’ve got the world’s attention. But this isn’t how we expected it to happen. 

Frustration, shock, horror, embarrassment, anger…yeah, we’ve pretty much run the gamut.

When I ran by that CVS the other day, it burning down never crossed my mind.

What do you get when you combine torched cars, broken windows, and a TV camera? I guess we, and everyone else in the country, now know. A powerfully negative perception.

#PrayForNepal makes my heart sad. But #PrayForBaltimore breaks it.

I don’t want “The Wire” to make my city look tame. I fear impressions are going to last longer than our attempt to correct them.

Remember what I told my colleague at work yesterday? “It all seems so surreal.” It really does.This isn’t really happening, is it? But it is. In our backyard.

We’re hemorrhaging. We’re living in chaos.

So…I’m doing what I’ve been taught to do. What I’ve experienced first-hand that works. And what I trust will work again.

Here’s my prayer, God. In the middle of our mess, please help us. 

Forgive us for the destruction. Forgive us for our pride. Forgive us for neglecting our children. Forgive us for not leading. Forgive us for talking too much and doing too little. Forgive us for too much commentary and not enough compassion. Forgive us for not remembering that you love everybody. And that everybody means everybody. Forgive us for highlighting the negative, emphasizing what divides, pointing out differences, and seeking easy safety rather than difficult reconciliation.

Forgive us for forgetting you.

What we’re asking for we admit we can’t do on our own. The National Guard troops at the Inner Harbor this morning prove that. We’ve tried.

So now, better late than never, we’re appealing to you. Please protect and heal our city.

We love Baltimore. We believe you do, too. So please come close, forgive us, and help us out of our chaos.

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