You gave us to each other, Lord,
In love to live and grow,
One flesh created, giving life,
Delight and trust to know.
With grace for joy and constancy
You bless each human soul,
To mirror your self-giving love,
Make mind and body whole.
But anguished cries now rise to you
From hearts betrayed and shamed,
By lashing tongue and thrusting fist,
And touch unasked, unnamed.
The hands you made for tender care,
Love's openness to tell,
Strip self-esteem, wreak fear and death,
Make home a hidden hell.
Stretch out your nail-marked hands in love,
Make violence to cease;
Heal those whose cruel acts and words
Destroy their loved ones' peace.
Restore the homes deprived of joy,
Deliver those in pain,
Bring justice, liberty from fear,
And hope to live again.
by Anna Briggs
(Found in the SPCK Book of Christian Prayer)
Jesus, our brother and friend,
look with kindness and compassion
on those who were [sexually] abused.
You see the lost child within
still crying alone in the darkness
where the hidden wounds of childhood
still hurt, and make them afraid.
When they feel abandoned, give them hope,
when they feel ashamed, give them comfort,
when they feel unloved, give them faith,
when they feel betrayed, give them peace.
In the power of your resurrection
may love triumph over fear,
light shine in the darkness,
and the long reign of terror be ended. Amen.
by Tracy Hansen