I am finding it harder to pray for my enemies. It’s difficult enough to watch good people die from evil diseases. Death is made all that much harder when the frailties of human nature fail us at the point which defines our humanity. Death is the common denominator. We are all going to die, one way or another.
It seems that in one way or another our petty grudges and animosities might be laid aside when we die. Nice things might be said, courtesies extended, hands shook, and hugs offered. Yet in 2018 even that is too much to ask. Humanity, kindness, and decency are deemed signs of weakness and political compromise. I should qualify that last sentence. Humanity, kindness, and basic decency have evaporated for about half of the voting age population. While that’s not everyone, it’s enough to see, feel, and notice the change in our society. It’s painful to watch. It hurts to see good people experience the backhand of ill-intended remarks and self-righteous comments. Civic death, for what it’s worth, is no longer sacred.
Hence, I’m back to my dilemma. With life losing value and death becoming another event to be manipulated (like elections and press conferences), I’m finding it hard to pray for the manipulators. Yes, I pray for the families of the deceased. I pray for those wounded by hate and the rhetoric of violence. Above all, I am finding it difficult to pray for those whose souls are not moved by death and loss in the most human sense. The words I need and I’m called to find for those who have placed themselves beyond decency and self-respect, are not there.
–Richard Lowell Bryant