A Prayer of Recovery

Van Gogh painted a dramatic image to help us visualize the story of the Good Samaritan.For too long, I have greatly under-estimated the sheer power of listening to people--of hearing so many sad stories.  Yes, it is a part of my work--it is my vocation to hear such things.  But in the hearing now, I am also listening to myself say a new prayer after such long, hard and sometimes very dark work of helping--of rescuing; of counseling and offering spiritual guidance.I've returned from an intense time of such work. I've re-entered my life now--having left so many folks I sat with in recent days.  Now, I must do my own work of cleansing--my own work of restoration--my own soul care.Everyone who cares--needs care. So, this prayer is something I've written to help me leave the burdens I carried for others in recent days and weeks.  It is my own way of doing some inner work of cleansing and confession. I hope it might be an encouragement to those who care and for those in need of the care of their own souls. A Prayer of Recovery for all who have Tried to Help-Stephen W. Smith Dear God, I have entered the dark in search of the light. Bring your light into the dungeon so that I can find my way back out. It has been dark—very dark. Show me your light. Let me see my way to you once again.I have searched O Lord to find hearts that are lost; souls that feel trapped, minds that are enslaved and I am weary because of it. Restore unto me, your comfort and care. I need your footing to find my way back out.I have sought to throw a lifeline to those in peril and because of this, I now need your lifeline for me. Grip me and pull me through lest I feel abandoned myself. The weight of their issues can bring me down. I can trip on all the grave clothes found and untied. Show me the way back out.I am unaware of what I soak into my own soul in such places; in hearing such sadness. My heart has been too much like a sponge soaking in their pain and I feel their pain and my own. Have mercy upon me, O Lord. In attempting to stop their bleeding, please, O Lord stop my own. Their hemorrhage has caused me to do the same. I feel messy. Cleanse me, O Lord. They hurt and I have hurt for them; with them. I now need to lay their hurt aside and find my own heart once again. Please help me.Rid me of a cloak of despair. Let me shed the grave clothes of others and walk into the Light. Free me from the tomb and the shackles of others so that I might run once again in freedom and joy.Where there has been evil, now bring me to peace.Where there has been so much despair, now sow seeds of joy within me.Where there has been buffeting waves where we only feel the deep, bring me to the ground of my being—the Ground of Your Being.Help me to sense the crowd of witnesses who now surround me and to hear their encouragement. Help me now to rest for great has been the battle.The greatest cheer I seek to hear is your delight--not in my work--but in my being.  My work is done but I am not done. I will go on. I want to recover. Speak and I will recover. Say the word, and I will come back to life. Make me attentive today among the timbered trees, rushing wind and birds that sing of the song of life once again. Sing of your delight and I will once again praise your name. Amen