Heaven’s above, there is plenty to pray for now

Shoot­ings, storms, death, dem­a­gogues and un­fin­ished elec­tions... is there a com­mon cause for the world’s woes?

Sunday News - - NEWS -


Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve prayed, so please for­give me my tres­passes. I’ll make sure I for­give those who tres­pass against me.

Also, be­cause my most re­cent prayers were for fairly shal­low things such as how my sports teams would go, I fully ac­cept it if I’m get­ting the side-eyes at the mo­ment.

It’s just that as more hor­rific events un­folded on Earth this week we were asked on our var­i­ous so­cial me­dia plat­forms to pray for Las Ve­gas.

When hear­ing of that sense­less tragedy many al­ready nat­u­rally prayed for the lives lost and the lives that are griev­ing those losses. Those that do ac­tu­ally pray, never need it sug­gested to them that they should do some­thing like that.

I won­der whether the peo­ple who write things like ‘‘pray for…’’ on their so­cial me­dia, then go and do ex­actly that af­ter they’ve posted.

So, yes. Let’s please put the shocked and mourn­ing peo­ple of Las Ve­gas on the list.

In fact while we’re at it, can we also add the rest of North Amer­ica.

That in­cludes Puerto Rico, the lat­est part of that coun­try af­fected by dev­as­tat­ing storms which have flat­tened lives and flooded ci­ties.

Was that partly your fault? Ac­cord­ing to the Bi­ble you have form for caus­ing those, just say­ing.

Ac­tu­ally, on fur­ther con­sid­er­a­tion… cli­mate change prob­a­bly car­ries more re­spon­si­bil­ity, so scratch that. Please for­give my im­petu­ous­ness.

While we are pray­ing for those suf­fer­ing, we could add the 800,000 Ro­hingya peo­ple who are be­ing forced to squeeze into one of the world’s largest refugee camps in Bangladesh as they flee eth­ni­cally cleans­ing in Myan­mar.

We can also add the peo­ple of Cen­tral African Repub­lic. Their coun­try has been has been wracked by sec­tar­ian vi­o­lence for the past five years and thou­sands more lives are at risk as aid work­ers are be­ing forced out by the es­ca­lat­ing vi­o­lence.

So, there you go. I’ve prayed for Las Ve­gas, the Ro­hingya, Cen­tral Africa Repub­lic… what else is there?

Oh yes. Some­thing quite un­nerv­ing hap­pened this week when the leader of the coun­try with a lion’s share of the world’s nu­clear weapons made a cryp­tic com­ment about ‘‘the calm be­fore the storm’’.

He was asked to clar­ify that com­ment but all he did was wink and said ‘‘you’ll find out’’. The world is try­ing not to panic but this guy hasn’t proved to be the most sen­si­ble and rea­soned of world lead­ers so can we just make this a gen­eral prayer for the world?

Be­cause then that also cov­ers Aotearoa, which two weeks af­ter an elec­tion, is a bit in limbo as it still doesn’t have any head pre­fects.

God, this is turn­ing into quite a list. Sorry for lay­ing all this on you – es­pe­cially when the more one con­sid­ers all th­ese things, and all the times we’ve been asked on so­cial me­dia to pay for a city that’s suf­fered a tragedy, the more one re­alises that ac­tu­ally you had noth­ing to do with them.

Apolo­gies, for both­er­ing you God. There’s prob­a­bly not a lot you can do, re­ally. Not when the real prob­lem is – us. If only hu­mans could just stop caus­ing suf­fer­ing and harm to other hu­mans.


Sorry for lay­ing all this on you, God – es­pe­cially when ac­tu­ally you had noth­ing to do with them.’

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