Suffering Saviour


I created this rather ghastly image a little while after the Grenfell Tower fire and I guess it was my prayer for those that suffered, and continue to suffer. It might seem a strange image and a strange response but sometimes we have to find a way to express our thoughts and prayers (a phrase that has come to be shorthand for ‘do nothing’). We can’t all rush to help and whilst sending money might be helpful, nothing and no one but God alone can sooth the suffering soul. To pray is to do something. My image is a prayer that says that God is present, and was present, in the suffering. Some might say that God would have been more useful to have stopped the suffering before it happened – but that was our task, our collective task, the task of all those empowered to make decisions about fire safety. We dropped the ball  and others suffered but God is the one who gathers up the broken in his arms, both those lost to us and those who survived the disaster. So how can we help? How can we comfort those who live on?  Thoughts and prayers, and perhaps an increased attention to the needs of others, especially those who are the most vulnerable and least able to secure their own well-being. I’m sure the inquiry will likely highlight other factors that could help prevent such a disaster occurring again. The survivors and witnesses of the fire may gain some comfort from that hope. My hope and prayer for them is that God by some divine power brings peace to their spirits and they can pick up the pieces of life and start over. May God grant them peace and strength to do so.

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