How long, O Lord?

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How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I take counsel in my soul

and have sorrow in my heart all the day?

~Psalm 13:1-2
 
22 dead in Texas. 19 children murdered. Parents devastated. Community shattered. And far beyond blood stained Uvalde. How many parents hugged their kids a little tighter or even kept them home this week?
 

The lament from Jesus’ own day echoes far too loudly in our time,

 “A voice is heard in Ramah,

   weeping and great mourning,

Rachel weeping for her children

   and refusing to be comforted,

   because they are no more.”

~Matthew 2:18

 

Sometimes, all we have to offer are our tears and silent prayers. Prayers which get mocked as we lament our present pain to our unseen God… 

My tears have been my food

day and night,

while people say to me all day long,
 
“Where is your God?”
 
~Psalm 42:3

 

We cry out for no ordering nor action can set right what’s broken here and now. How! Long! O Lord!

 

Still, as we cry we must sit in the pain. All action and change are distractions from the loss – the ripping and tearing of lives and families. Again. How can it be again so soon after Buffalo?  Again, we list the senseless violence ripping and tearing communities across our country. The pain, we cannot bear it. So we cry out to our God who can. How long, O Lord?

The pain focuses us and clarifies our call as we bear the pains together as a community. The pain helps us see the pain amplified in every community as doors get locked tighter and we walk a little farther from every stranger. The pain reminds of the One who passionately bore our pain in the true love which bleeds for others. 

 

We sit in the pain long enough and we see our God has been with us all along. Jesus weeps still at the loss of His friends. Jesus weeps at the lack of love in His Father’s world. Jesus, who gave us the answer we don’t want to be so simple against such monstrosity, “Love your neighbor.”

 

We glimpse the truth, marvel at what might be if only each neighbor transferred this love – but the agonizing pain draws us back to crying out about the brokenness all around us. 
 

In our pain and grief, may we draw a little closer to one another, and may our cries run the full course of their lament.

 

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I take counsel in my soul
    and have sorrow in my heart all the day?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God;
    light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death,
 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,”
    lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken.

 But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
 I will sing to the Lord,
    because he has dealt bountifully with me.

~Psalm 13


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