God of mercy, love, and light, we come to You today to ask that You help those who sit in darkness to let You in. Your presence within us is the light we need in order to get past the dark times and spaces in our lives. This morning there are those who have suffered a traumatizing experience this past week and who are trying to figure out how to live the different life that experience has demanded. We delight in the sameness of our lives; we find comfort in that which we know, even if it is not good for us. But life happens, and we experience events that we never thought we would. There are parents and spouses and friends of those who have been cut down by bullets shot by crazed and angry people. In an instant, their lives changed, and they need light. There are families who learned that a loved one has a terminal illness, and they need light. There are people who have stopped hoping, and they need light. There are immigrant mothers whose children have been ripped out of their arms by law enforcement; their agony is increased by the fact that they have no idea where their children are- and we have a government which does not care about their pain. They need light. There are children who are caught up in sex trafficking, and they need light. There are people living on the streets because a catastrophic illness wiped out not only their savings but their capacity to work; they need light. We know that we are capable of getting through the briars and the thickets in our lives, but sometimes, we get caught in the dark places of life, and we need the light which is You. In your mercy, come. Because Your love has no limits, we ask you to come. And on our part, help us to praise you anyhow, regardless of the dark space some are sitting in this day. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.