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A Prayer for the Hoarder Within

When the coronavirus hit the US shores, the Seattle area became the first hotspot. Amid the tragic stories of sickness and death, social media from this region was also erupting with something unexpected – photos of empty selves that were once stocked with toilet paper. This became a harbinger of the hoarding to come. Soon, the country would be caught up in the toilet paper rush as the hoarder instinct among us kicked in. Toilet paper wasn’t the only item being stockpiled in homes: canned goods, diapers, milk, bleach, eggs, frozen meat, water, rice, ice cream, and, of course, hand sanitizer have all been in short supply in stores. I remember a late March visit to a store at its early hour of opening as people were lining up outside like it was Black Friday. When the door opened, people raced to the toilet paper aisle. And though my household had plenty, I felt the real unmistakable human urge to grab more. Today we offer “A PRAYER FOR…THE HOARDER WITHIN.”  

Matthew 6:19-21

“Jesus said, ‘Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Let us pray:

Holy God, the materialistic temptation to gather and hoard is in us all. Self-protectionism and the false narrative of scarcity make for a toxic brew that we quaff on any normal day, let alone in the middle in this pandemic. Forgive our hoarding hearts that know too well the rhythmic patterns of wanting more, taking more, storing up more. By the power of your abundant grace, turn us inward-out that we may recognize the call to place our trust in you alone. Help us release a hold on material things and grip tightly to the treasures of heaven: kindness, mercy, justice, reconciliation, acts of charity, and love for all. This we pray for ourselves, for each other, and for the world you hold dear. Amen.     


Justin Lind-Ayres

University Pastor