Friday Prayers for Egypt: Coal and Lead

Flag Cross Quran

You have given humanity flesh and blood, the softest of elements. How easily they are damaged by substances harder, also of your creation. Be it self-destruction or directed, how frequently this occurs.

Frequent power cuts and energy shortages are partially assuaged by coal substitution, polluting the air.

Frequent protests and police presence are partially assaulted by lead transformation, polluting politics.

Demonstrators are arrested and put behind bars. A journalist is killed by a debated bullet. A nail bomb rips through a university gate – and a policeman’s heart.

Not all the world is hard, God. There are oceans and trees and flowers and dirt. But Egypt has precious little of these. Your great gift, the Nile, has 90 million people crammed alongside.

Egypt has sand and cement. These hem in the nation and threaten her humanity. Give her to drink.

Give her draughts of compassion. Give her currents of mercy. Give her the freedom that is far deeper than slogan.

In lieu of these, God, does she need the iron rod? The king enacts justice with his scepter; there is no escaping the need of metal. It too is from your bounty.

But may it be employed rightly. Strike down those who would manipulate your creation for their own ends.

Even then, God, toward repentance and restoration. Heal Egypt from her wounds, both deep and recent. May she find the strength that comes from your least tangible of elements – the spirit.

Your spirit enlivens, it empowers, it creates. Breathe into this nation respect for all that is soft. The fabric of community. The web of relationships. The fruit of virtue.

Law may be on a tablet of stone, but write it into the beating of hearts.

And soon, God. Test Egypt no longer. May her flesh and blood triumph over her coal and lead. May she cling to her humanity, know your divinity, and find united the wholeness therein.



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