Written for one of my email subscribers, after she told me of the heartbreak of being bullied and watching her child go through the same thing.
Most days, O Lord, I choose to believe
the words you said in that earliest Garden
when you knit my heart and body together
with fistfuls of earth and breath of the holy
when you saw yourself reflected in me
and announced to the world that it was good.
But today, the words of others were loud
and drowned out the sound of your still small voice.
My heart is heavy under the weight
of unkind lips
of aggressive hands, and
of darkened hearts
that inflicted on me a reckless evil
that you never intended for me to bear.
But I carry the wounds of my broken brethren
in my vulnerable skin,
in my responsive soul, and
in my shattered heart.
God of Justice, restore to me
the years the locusts have eaten.
You are not indifferent to my hidden tears.
You have not turned a blind eye to my pain.
You wept your way to the place of the Skull
while they shouted and spit and cursed your sweet name
so that you could taste of this sorrowful cup
and not leave me here to suffer alone.
Comfort me with your companionship,
my gentle Man of Sorrows.
Affirm again the truth of my worth,
my just Creator God.
And empower me to the work of forgiveness,
my wild and reconciling Spirit,
reminding me that with your final breath
you begged forgiveness for your offenders,
reminding me that I’m praying now
with lips that once screamed hate at your cross,
and reminding me that your poured-out blood
ensured that all could be redeemed:
even my aggressor.
So today, dear Christ, help me to not minimize my pain.
Help me fully grieve the wounds I never chose to bear.
Protect my fragile heart against the lies of broken tongues.
Protect my tender body against those who’d bring it harm.
Enable me to fight for justice
for both myself and for those on the margins.
Enable me to fully expect
your kingdom’s presence here and now.
Equip me for the work of forgiveness,
that I may give to others that which I have received from you.
And through it all, please grip my hand
so that I can feel the hope in the wounds
you carry deep in your nail-torn palms.