Sunday, July 11, 2010

Psalm of the Survivor (Song of the Blackbird)

O God, where were you?
Did you not see?
Did you not care?
Could you not stop it?

I was victimized and terrorized
My enemy was not supposed to be my enemy
So my enemy wounded my soul even more deeply
The violence denied my joy, masked my beauty, and stole my hope

My enemy violated me in ways that blocked out the sun
And brought forth the rain, wind, and thunder
It shook and cracked my foundation
And did damage that could never be totally repaired

Suddenly, in the midst of that storm, Jesus became a kindred spirit
He, too, was beaten bloody by his enemies
He, too, was in a fight that was not fair
He, too, prayed for God to protect him from abusive powers

Jesus and I cannot mystify the violence that was done to us
It was wrong
It should have been different
It must never happen again

Our silence will not protect us
That is why I must cry out for justice
For me
And for Jesus

We know the pain of being strung up on our crosses
Such torture and humiliation tamps out everything that resembles real life
The suffering caused by our enemies isn’t virtuous or character-building
And it wasn’t part of God’s will for our lives

Salvation doesn’t come from violence
It never has
It never will
Salvation comes from resurrection

Resurrection is love, not fear
Resurrection is compassion, not control
Resurrection is advocacy, not passivity
Resurrection is resistance, not acceptance

Resurrection celebrates acts of resilience in the aftermath of violence
Resurrection squeezes out hope from places where it may not typically thrive
Resurrection opens up the process of forgiveness for the sake of wholeness
Resurrection senses God’s presence in moments of healing and strength

Resurrection is the song of the blackbird
Sung from the rawness of shadow and pain
Yet managing to find a tune of hope in the discord of despair
A song written on the journey from the depths of hell to the heights of heaven

The song of the blackbird is for people like Jesus and me
People who refuse to let our enemies steal our lives
People who know the power of resurrection firsthand
People who praise God for every scrap of salvation that comes our way

The song of the blackbird declares that there is a balm in Gilead for me
It inspires me look back with disgust instead of hatred
It empowers me to look forward with purpose instead of emptiness
It calls me to prayerful anticipation of a better future

God joins me as I boldly sing the song of the blackbird
And I will sing that song as long as I have the breath of life
It’s the most sacred hymn I know
It’s a hymn of survival that even blackbirds like Jesus and I can sing

O God, I trust in your steadfast love
And rejoice in your salvation
You have brought me moments of resurrection
And those moments grow longer and more powerful each day

1 comment:

  1. You are both fortunate to have found one another. Thanks for sharing.

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