God, let me cry on your shoulder

A prayer after today’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, by
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

God, let me cry on Your shoulder.
Rock me like a colicky baby.
Promise me You won’t forget

each of Your perfect reflections
killed today. Promise me
You won’t let me forget, either.

I’m hollow, stricken like a bell.
Make of my emptiness a channel
for Your boundless compassion.

Soothe the children who witnessed
things no child should see,
the teachers who tried to protect them

but couldn’t, the parents
who are torn apart with grief,
who will never kiss their beloveds again.

Strengthen the hands and hearts
of Your servants tasked with caring
for those wounded in body and spirit.

Help us to find meaning
in the tiny lights we kindle tonight.
Help us to trust

that our reserves of hope
and healing are enough
to carry us through.

We are Your hands: put us to work.
Ignite in us the unquenchable yearning
to reshape our world

so that violence against children
never happens again, anywhere.
We are Your grieving heart.

Rabbi Rachel Barenblat

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