if I could…

As we pray for the Syria Crisis daily at the Sanctuary’s centre, we often don’t have any new words. Our hearts are in the same place after all – desperate for change; often feeling powerless to do anything but pray and sometimes feeling powerless to do even that; always crying out to God for peace, hope and freedom for Syria’s people and softened of hearts on all sides… within the country and amongst the international community.


But yesterday, one of our pray-ers and contributors, Sarah Parkinson brought in this new poem to share with us, and you… Our element of God’s character in focus for the day was ‘humility’ and this poem, like our prayers yesterday, reflect a sense of needing to come with reverence on our knees – before the Syrian people, as well as before God.

If I could

If I could sit with you
in the remains of war
as the smoke claws at your lungs
and the child lies, still, in your arms –
if I could weep a hundredth part of your tears,
then what would be your gain?

If I could turn with you
in that dark moment of unknowing,
the not wanting to know –
‘what is left of my home,
where my child, once cried, and laughed,
and was loved?’
If I could bear the smallest part of your fear,
then what would be your gain?

If I could walk with you
down broken roads that lead to nowhere near,
across the fields so torn by war
there is no yield – there is no food
to soothe the aching wound of life –
if I could lend my strength to you for one more step
then what would be your gain?

The years that fed your unbelief,
of missile strike and screaming grief,
and hope that dims to dark and bleak –
if I could lift these years from you I would.

But ‘if I could’ is emptiness
so far from you: a wilderness
of all I cannot do.
Yet still I hope –
yes, still I hold your hope for you.

Sarah Parkinson, 4th September 2013

More prayers for Syria are available here and here.

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