As We Embrace Destruction


Holy One, God of life,
as we your living images
embrace destruction,
worshiping the tools
of death, counting cartridges
and corpses…

Please do not leave us to
our tragic, evil ways.
Embrace the fallen, comfort the grieving,
and wash away our willful sin
with Your angry tears.


A prayer in sorrow for those killed at the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on November 8, 2018.

I Don’t Want to Light Another Candle


I wrote this song in October 2017 after fifty-nine people died, slain by a lone gunman in Las Vegas. Interfaith Communities in Action sponsored a prayer service at Church of the Holy Cross UCC in Hilo. We read every name. We lit a candle for every life taken.

Just last week we held a similar service, remembering eleven killed at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And today, twelve have died in Thousand Oaks, California.

I don’t want to light another candle.

I Don’t Want to Light Another Candle

I don’t want to light another candle.
I don’t want to spark another flame.
I don’t want to curse the crushing darkness
remembering another body slain.

For the world is all aglow with candles
as bright as the noonday sun appears,
and we can see the swelling of the ocean
overflowing with the rivers of our tears.

I don’t want to light another candle.
I don’t want to read another name.
I don’t want to shout into the halls
of magnificence and power,
“Why must it always be the same?”


I don’t want to light another candle.
I tell that my grieving days are done.
I don’t want to count the dead and injured
when the number that’s too high…
is one.


Let me look up and see
God’s rainbow sailing through the sky:
a promise made of rain and sunshine
that all will be well by and by,
all will be well by and by.
Oh, God, may all be well…
by and by.

Copyright © 2017 by Eric Anderson