Some of the young people who were listening to country music in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night had also been listening to music at a festival in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017. After 58 people died in Las Vegas just a year ago, the Lake View Presbyterian Church in Chicago prayed this prayer, which was written by Benno Wilson, a young adult in that congregation. We repeat it here after yet another encounter with senseless violence in our country.
You are the restful night,
You are the count to ten,
You are the angry email we draft and do not send,
You are the nameless, tireless diplomat,
You are the safety on.
We pray for peace—
For our city, our country, and our world,
Within our families, within our bodies,
And within our hearts.
We pray for peace
Until only jokes bomb,
And only batters strike,
And only cameras shoot,
Until the only child we bury is the setting sun.