Grief overtook my heart as the scent of many memorial bouquets filled my nostrils. Unexpectedly I had come upon Martin Place and the building where the hostage crisis took place in Sydney last December. The chained door reminded me of how many prisons of suffering we humans create and perpetuate. Reading the notes left by mourners, I felt renewed resolve to stand and work with others who are creating a world where love and peace can thrive.


My prayer response:

God, may your comfort sow seeds of peace and love in the very rocky, dry ground of our lives and world. May we water the soil with our willingness to embody Your care for suffering in all its forms.


Biblical touchstones:

  • How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? Psalm 13:1
  • “But I [Jesus] say to you that listen…Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    Luke 6: 27 & 31
  •  The God of peace be with all of you. Romans 15:33


Invitation to prayer:
What prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, and body?
Pray them now.


Photos: Memorials outside the former Lindt Chocolate Café, Sydney

Memorial Note: May the world learn from its mistakes.
Memorial Note: May the world learn from its mistakes.


Some background from Wikipedia

On 15–16 December 2014, a lone gunman, Man Haron Monis, held hostage ten customers and eight employees of a Lindt chocolate café located at Martin Place in Sydney, Australia. Police treated the event as a terrorist attack, and negotiated with Monis throughout the day.

After a 16-hour standoff, during which areas of the Sydney central business district surrounding the site were cordoned off and nearby buildings locked down, police officers from the Tactical Operations Unit stormed the café upon hearing gunshots from inside. At least one hostage was shot by Monis, who himself was shot dead after police entered in response. Hostages Katrina Dawson and Tori Johnson died, while three other hostages and a police officer were injured during the police raid.

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