by Kristen

“To that dear refuge in which so many have sheltered from every storm may I repair . . .”[1]

Some nights before I fall asleep scenes flash through my mind. They are scenes of un-civil war between differing ethnicities, religions, ideologies. They are scenes of devastation both natural and unnatural. A globe spins in my mind and then zooms in on the life-altering moments before panning out and moving on to the next life-will-never-be-the-same moment.

They are scenes I can’t turn off. My soul can scarcely murmur, “God . . .” before it falls silent. What do I pray for? Peace in war? Eradication of disease? Food in famine? Safety after the flood, earthquake, tornado, fire? Can I comprehend the lives behind the death tolls?

They’re fragmentary images I know are real but still struggle to contextualize in my comfortable, quiet, suburban life. I don’t worry about my next meal. I don’t worry about whether I can drive across town without being kidnapped or harmed for my gender or race or religion. Those aren’t my realities.

And while I’m very grateful, I wonder how it affects my prayer of “Thy kingdom come”? I wonder how it colors my concept of God as a refuge, a shelter, a strong tower? Do I understand that dependence . . . that security?

In the midst of the chaos I wordlessly place them, place myself, place all of us in the only sanctuary that remains—the refuge of Jesus’ healing hands.


[1] Bennett, Arthur, ed., The Valley of Vision (Carlisle: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1975), 93.


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