On Sunday at 2pm SLT a group gathered on Whispering Angel Island to dedicate a memorial to victims of murder. This memorial has been constructed by Edd Thor (SL name) who is a pathologist in RL and well aware of the terrible toll losing a loved one to murder has on those who survive. Already the memorial is in use with several names listed there, each with their own simple candle and some words of love.
It was a great privilege to be able to conduct this brief service in the presence of Edd and others. The service opened with Psalm 130 which begins: Out of the depths have I cried to you, O Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Surely so many people have turned in their distress and cried to God to hear them. In the reading from Isaiah 49:15-16 God assured us: I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands. Finally, Romans 8:38-39 reminded us that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Our prayer of dedication was this:
O God, whose Son Jesus Christ wept over the death of his friend Lazarus,
bless, we pray, this memorial park where the names of those
who have been victims of murder may be placed.
May those who are remembered here rest in peace,
through your Son, who is the resurrection and the life;
who died and is alive and reigns with you now and for ever.
We prayed for the families of those who have been murdered that they may not succumb to despair, and for those who are in prison that they might be brought to newness of life. Together we shared our family prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, before hearing the comforting words of St Teresa of Avila to conclude:
Let nothing disturb thee, nothing affright thee;
all things are passing, God never changeth!
Patient endurance attaineth to all things;
who God possesseth in nothing is wanting;
alone God sufficeth.