While fires raged in my beautiful city of Colorado Springs yesterday, I was at my late husband’s mother’s funeral in New York State. In the Orthodox tradition, the 90-minute service included many chanted prayers and Scripture readings. By far the most frequently sung words were, “Lord, have mercy.” They were chanted in hauntingly beautiful tones that resonated in my heart for the rest of the day and into the night.
Late last night I watched in disbelief as Internet media sources showed real-time scenes of familiar Colorado Springs neighborhoods—places where I had shared meals, laughter, tears, and friendship—burn in the inferno. It’s hard to be 2,000 miles away from friends when tragedy hits, so I called a friend who is in a (currently) safe neighborhood not far from mine. We prayed for many things—especially friends we love who had evacuated and were likely to lose their homes—but the prayer that repeated most in my heart and spirit was “Lord, have mercy.”
We did ask God for rain, for a shift in the winds, a lowering of the unseasonably high temperatures, stamina, courage, protection, and resources for fire fighters. We prayed spiritual protection. And we prayed for the faith of our friends who were in the direct path of the flames—asking God to strengthen the hearts and faith of these dear ones who are living such a nightmare.
But the prayer that made the most sense to me was, “Lord, have mercy.” I encourage my own heart with the facts that God is merciful, He is good. He is loving. He is kind. He is strong. He is Lord. And so to His mercy I appeal—not for what I or my city deserves, not for what I think is the best way to “fix” this terrible situation—but for what He as a good and loving God gives. So I continue to sing that prayer in my heart to the Lord and wait on Him.
Please pray for God to have mercy on Colorado Springs—for the sake of His name and the love of His people.