Making sense of senselessness

Like not only Australians, but folk worldwide, I’m struggling to get my head around the sheer enormity of the devastation – particularly in human loss – from the horrific bushfires that have raged in Victoria these past days.  If I can’t get my head around it, imagine how my heart is faring.  I’m reminded of an Iona Community song from John L. Bell and Graham Maule: “We cannot measure how you heal” – it was sung after sixteen school children and their teacher were killed by a gunman in Dunblane, Scotland, in 1996.

For now, these words best capture my prayers, feelings, bewilderment and belief:

We cannot measure how you heal

Or answer every sufferer’s prayer,

Yet we believe your grace responds

Where faith and doubt unite to care.

Your hands, though bloodied on the cross,

Survive to hold and heal and warn,

To carry all through death to life

And cradle children yet unborn.

 

The pain that will not go away,

The guilt that clings from things long past,

The fear of what the future holds,

Are present as if meant to last.

But present too is love which tends

The hurt we never hoped to find,

The private agonies inside,

The memories that haunt the mind.

 

So some have come who need your help

And some have come to make amends,

As hands which shaped and saved the world

Are present in the touch of friends.

Lord, let your Spirit meet us here

To mend the body, mind and soul,

To disentangle peace from pain

And make your broken people whole.

  

John Bell & Graham Maule   (C) 1989 Wild Goose Resource Group/Iona Community
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3 Responses to “Making sense of senselessness”


  1. 1 Annette C February 12, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Hi David,

    I came across your blog tonight while looking for resources for leading worship on Sunday. The song you have quoted says so much and has helped me by putting into words what is so hard to understand. Thank you for sharing them. Sometimes it’s hard to even know how to pray in times like this – but what hope we have that our Lord goes before us, lighting the way of hope, leading us on right paths and soothing our wounds with his healing grace. Blessings to you and Dale. Annette

  2. 2 Annette C February 12, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Hi David,

    I came across your blog tonight as I was looking for resources for leading worship this Sunday. The words of the song you quoted say so much and have helped me by putting into words what I have struggled to understand. Thank you for sharing them. At this time of tragedy we rest in the comfort of hope as he restores our souls, leads us on right paths and soothes our wounds with his healing grace.

    Blessings to you and Dale. Annette

  3. 3 dmacgreg1 February 12, 2009 at 7:34 pm

    Annette

    I took advantage of an earlier-than-desired wakeup to post a list of other songs to my blog. You may find some of these helpful.

    Blessings

    David


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