on prayers we still send when words fail

Words fail as I hear from people on the ground in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Guinea who are losing friends and neighbors to ebola now. So many are already stricken or gone, so many more are ill and facing death alone, and too many must stand forward still with nearly no protection or care from the ravages of this disease.

So little, too, can be done by unskilled and ill-heeled people like me, from afar and caught entirely flatfooted on this, with next to nothing but small donations and prayers to send. Even my prayers are wordless now, for I know not what to ask for, except that: please, somehow, ease their suffering, support them in their anguish, grant them whatever measure of peace and comfort and kindness can be had. Please bless their families, all who love them, their friends and neighbors and communities. Please grant succor to all in the maw of this virus that wreaks such havoc with our humanity and our only ways to show that we care. Please give strength and courage to those with skills on the ground, and fill their coffers with the resources needed to get in front of ebola and soon.

And, too, just on the off-chance that there can be any lasting transformations from all of this? Please let the vicious inequalities that underlie and drive the mortalities of ebola and so many other diseases disappear from the face of this earth, vanishing in a rising wind of understanding that—no matter where or who we are—our lives are fully intertwined and therefore we cannot afford to let some of us suffer so that we can carry on unimpeded.

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