God of peace, you already know that we are worried and distracted by many things.

Our hearts are restless, not for you,

but for the shiny gifts of distraction, quick comfort and approval.

As Lent moves toward Holy Week, deepen in us, we pray,

the ability to live with sadness and tension,

to rest, not fretting, while things come to life,

to sit with our own sorrows.

Grow in us, we ask, the gift of seeing others’ invisible suffering,

hearing the sigh of grief, the catch in a voice, the wince of pain,

the too-quick “I’m fine.”

In all of that, may we grow ready to live deeply

with the mystery of Jesus’ suffering,

which reflects the pain of the world,

until the day when sorrow is no more.  Amen.

Mary Austin is the pastor of Westminster Church of Detroit, a diverse Presbyterian Church.  She blogs from time to time at Stained Glass in the City.

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