On Jan. 20 the URJ will host an update webinar on conditions in Haiti one year after a catastrophic earthquake. On Sunday former dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier returned without warning after a 25-year exile saying he wanted to help rebuild. In the days after the earthquake, I wrote two prayers: one for the people of Haiti and one for first responders, who often internalize the trauma of a disaster.
For First Responders (to the Earthquake in Haiti)
Crisis and chaos,
Confusion and loss,
A scene of sweeping destruction,
The first responders arrive
Among the breathless and dazed,
The frenzied, driven wild with fear and grief,
The incapacitated, the dead,
The weary, the lost, the injured,
And survivors forcing themselves
Beyond their limits
To fight devastation.
G-d whose ways are secret,
Bless these first responders with endurance
To be of maximum service in this moment of immeasurable need.
Bless their limbs with strength,
Their eyes with courage,
Their hands with gentleness,
So that they become a source of hope and love.
Give them the tools they need in the days and hours ahead.
Protect them from physical harm,
Shield them from emotional pain,
And guard them from taking this trauma into themselves.
G-d of justice and mercy,
We pray for the people of Haiti.
Let the world rally on their behalf.
May the deeds of the first responders
Find favor in Heaven
And bring healing on earth.
© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Click here for the prayer for the people of Haiti. The epicentre of the Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake was near the town of Léogâne, approximately 25 km (16 miles) west of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The Haitian government estimated that 230,000 people had died, 300,000 were injured and 1,000,000 made homeless. (Source: Wikipedia.)
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