Sunday, July 24, 2011

What Befell Us

Last night my husband and I sat in the front yard. He mentioned I looked tired. And I am. It’s been a long and painful 20 months of loss and hurt, disappointment, hard physical labor, grief, illness and relinquishing stuff, people and appropriate claims to relationship. My husband is a wise man and talked with me, comforted me, exhorted me, gave me space and time to cry and be angry, prayed for me. And today he showed me this song, by John Michael Talbot. After each line he filled in names and events and places where we have been crushed, where the shadow of death has covered us, where we have been led to slaughter, scattered, mocked and ridiculed, rejected, disgraced and taunted. He didn’t do this in a pitying, bitter way; he’s just not that kind of man. He did it to exhort. It is a Psalm, after all, and hard things have befallen us, in the manner of those who lived thousands of years ago and those who live today. Our hearts lament. And when they do we keep the company of a multitude.

 One of my big faith crises of the past 2 years is that I have not been faithful,, that my witness was weak, that I deserve to be the laughingstock. It has rocked my foundation in a way that nothing, in 28 years of doing everything I knew to do to live as disciple of Yahweh, has done.

But the reality is that I have not been false to God's word. The longing of my heart has been for Him, for his justice, his mercy, his saving grace to manifest itself. I have been faithful to what I know of His living word. I have obeyed to the best of my ability. I have borne witness to His name and prayed diligently. I have given up what’s He has asked of me and gone where He has directed. I have stumbled as I’ve sacrificed and fallen as I’ve traveled. I am, God knows, imperfect and prone to immaturity. But I must continue to trust that He is bigger than my imperfection, wiser than my immaturity and that He is a banner over me.

And so I lament. I am grieved. I cry. I fall down.
And the time, the day, the season comes and the tears are less; the lament lessens, the heart hurt not so deep.

John Michael Talbot
This befell us though we had not forgotten
Though we never had been false to your Word
Though our hearts had not withdrawn their longing
Though our minds had not strayed from your Word

You have crushed us to the place of sorrow
Covered us with the shadow of death
You make us like the sheep for the slaughter
And scattered us among the nations of the earth

You continue to reject and disgrace us
No longer seem to dwell with us
You make us now the taunt of our neighbors
The laughingstock of all who draw near

All day long my disgrace is before me
My face is now covered with shame
This befell us though we had not forsaken
We had not been false to your name.

Wake oh Lord why do you sleep and slumber?
Rise oh Lord do not reject us again

from Psalm 44

Shabbot Shalom link-up at Peeble Crossing.


Lillian said...

An excellent reminder that we are not alone or the first to feel this way. Thank you for sharing.

Shalom my friend.

Teri said...

I have felt your pain many, many times; and am praying for you.

Carmen Bruno said...

thank you for sharing, we are all on a journey, that have somewhat the same resemblance. Let us continue to be of encouragement to each other.
blessings ~ Carmen

Shanda said...

Oh, my twitter directed me here and i am so glad. What a baring of your soul. I pray God's mercy and love will sweep over your soul and refresh you, energize you and heal your heart.