This has been an emotionally fired week. My heart breaks for my friends in Syria and seeing the situation there get more and more difficult. There’s no end in sight. I’ve also started writing a little memoir of my culturtwining life. 25 single-spaced pages, and I’ve barely started to capture my memories from Syria – Syria was such a huge part of my life. A couple of hours of writing it all out, have resulted in 24 hours of reminiscing, each day this week: seeing myself back in a little alley of the Old City of Damascus, climbing the mountain overlooking the city of Damascus, eating a feast in the village of friends. It’s like I’m back there, somehow, more than ten years later.
But, of course, “there” doesn’t exist anymore. I am mourning the Syria I knew, and love. Because I feel I need to do something, anything, I have thrown myself into the podcast of my novel, Dreams in the Medina, which is a coming of age tale of Syrian women in an age of innocence. When the podcast finishes, I want to self-publish the book. My dream for Syria is that women in the West connect, somehow, with women in Syria, and I thought the book would be a means by which this would happen… but self-publishing is a difficult route and I’m being constantly reminded that I don’t have the skills for marketing and promotion required to self-publish well. I’m terrified. But I don’t want to give up – giving up would feel like giving up on Syria, somehow, and I just can’t do that.
Today, I want to share a prayer for Syria that I came across. Sometimes I don’t know how to pray for a situation so tender, but I say this prayer wholeheartedly:
God of Compassion,
Hear the cries of the people of Syria,
Bring healing to those suffering from the violence,
Bring comfort to those mourning the dead,
Strengthen Syria’s neighbors in their care and welcome for refugees,
Convert the hearts of those who have taken up arms,
And protect those committed to peace.
God of Hope,
Inspire leaders to choose peace over violence and to seek reconciliation with enemies,
Inspire the Church around the world with compassion for the people of Syria,
And give us hope for a future of peace built on justice for all.
We ask this through Jesus Christ,
Prince of Peace and Light of the World,
Petition: For the people of Syria, that God may strengthen the resolve of leaders to end the fighting and choose a future of peace.
We pray to the Lord…