Friday, February 27, 2015

A Confession of What I Remembered

You who fear the Lord
Praise him.
All you offspring of Jacob,
glorify him.
stand in awe of him, 
all you offspring of Israel!

For he did not despise or abhor
the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
but heard when I cried to him.

I sat at my desk,
and I read the Psalm,
and I thought,
"Of course that's so.
Why would God ever
hide his face from those
who are suffering?"

And then I remembered
the man on the street
whose eyes I did not meet,
who stood, cold and shivering,
needing help.
And then I remembered
how I had walked by,
ignoring him,
hiding my face.

And then I remembered,
the children on the news,
hungry, abused,
needing help from someone
who cared.
And then I remembered
how I had thought
"What could I possibly do?
The problem is too big;
the solutions are beyond my grasp."
And I hid my face,
and changed the channel.

And then I remembered,
the man in grief.
I don't know what he needed,
or how I could help.
And then I remembered
that I had thought,
"I don't have the words,
I don't know how to help,"
so I hid my face,
and said nothing,
instead of showing love.

Is it any surprise
that the Psalmist is shocked
that God does not hid God's face
to the pain and suffering of the afflicted?
Why would his expectations be any different?
He would not have seen God
in the likes of me.

Two opening stanzas from Psalm 22:23-24

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