Divine Parent of All Creation,
I skipped over a few needed prayers.

From the people killed and maimed in the streets of Baghdad
While they celebrated the break from their Ramadan fasting,
To Cyclone Mora currently beating Bangladesh,
Killing people in its way-
God, forgive me for turning my head away from their pain.

I’ve stayed too close to the news of my country,
To the stories of people who look like me, and sound like me, and dress like me.
I’ve basked in my privilege for far too long.

I spoke of the deaths in Manchester
But forget those who die from hunger
In South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, and Nigeria.
They are all your children, Divine Parent.
We are all made in your image.

Forgive me after my ignorant choices.
Forgive me for selecting whose pain I consider
And whose pain I ignore.
May I not stumble back to my old ways of embracing news.

May my reading of current events
Expand beyond my country, my culture, my hemisphere.

Encourage me to listen to the voices all over the world
As they cry from hunger, or pain, or torture.

Nudge me to stand and speak-
Not only for the people who fit my demographic,
But for your children all over the world.



The Rev. Michelle L. Torigian is the Pastor of St. Paul United Church of Christ, Old Blue Rock Road in Cincinnati.  Her essay “Always a Pastor, Never the Bride” was in the RevGalBlogPals book There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.  Torigian blogs at


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