By The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster

Amid the growing number of COVID cases across the country and globe, there was a news article this week entitled “Beyond the Milky Way, a Galactic Wall.” With the whole world scrambling at a life or death pace for a viable solution to this pandemic, it seems like a luxury to look beyond our troubled earth to the stars above, and yet the astronomers can’t take their eyes off the skies. In trying to determine our place in the wider galactic realm, scientists found an as yet unseen wall or “curtain” of dust, gas, stars and “dark worlds” an unimaginable 700 million light-years across filled with trillions of stars. 

We are not the first generation, nor the last, to place intimate life or death concerns alongside cosmic ones. The prayer below is one I adapted, almost directly, from Psalm 147 which does the same thing: places our broken hearts and the myriad stars side by side. The tension is palpable—our human woundedness and pain up against the ineffable night sky. Yet there in that tension, God meets us, God calls us by name, God lingers a while as we wonder again how to live our lives up against all that is impossibly hard and impossibly beautiful. May God reach you in the in-between.

Let us pray:

God, heal our broken hearts and bind up our wounds, O you who determines the number of stars and calls them each by name.
Based on —Psalm 147:3–4

Katie White, Trustee Kenilworth Union Church shares good news under the Phase 4 guidelines of the reopening of the church. Click through to read Katie’s blog.