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The Pause Before the Plunge

The Pause Before the Plunge


This day, September 10, is always an odd day for me. It’s a day between my birthday—and the remembrance of the terrorist attacks that happened on September 11, 2001. The remembrances of those initial hours and days and weeks after those attacks cast a shadow over this day, reminding us of how swiftly our world can change. And it’s a day when I think about all the thousands of lives lost—innocent lives, casualties of an undeclared war—both here and around the world who, through no fault of their own, got caught between the grinding mill of hatred and vengeance that emerged both that day, and in the days and years that followed. 


Today is the pause before the plunge that sweeps over those who remember and mourn. I wonder about how we honor the memory of those who gave their lives for others, and how we remember the messages of love as well as the images of destruction from that day.


This year, in the midst of this pandemic, when it seems that nothing changes fast enough, it is also a constant reminder of how God’s comforting presence abides with us always, even in the midst of sorrow and grief. And it is a day I usually pray this prayer:


Loving God, 

You show us through the glorious Trinity 

the way of mutual love that leads to action: 

hear our prayers, we pray. 


That we may place no bonds upon each other 

but the bonds of love, equality, and peace, 

we pray to You, O God. 

That we may be knit together 

in a common cause 

to nourish all who hunger in body, mind, or soul, 

we pray to You, O God.

That we may use our might 

for mercy and justice, 

rather than vengeance and violence, 

we pray to You, O God.

That we may be faithful and compassionate stewards 

of your wondrous creation, 

we pray to You, O God.

That we remember those who have been lost

through violence and terror, 

and honor their lives by sowing peace and concord, 

we pray to You, O God.

Ground of our Being, 

Creator, Redeemer, Comforter, 

hear the prayers of your people, 

and extend your peace over all who turn to You,

for You are gracious, O Lover of Souls.



The Rev. Leslie Scoopmire is a writer, musician, and a priest in the Diocese of Missouri. She is the rector of St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Ellisville, MO.  She posts daily prayers at her blog Abiding In Hope, and collects spiritual writings and images at Poems, Psalms, and Prayers


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