15 December 2010

Down & Dirty

The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous
And His ears are open to their cry.
The face of the LORD is against evildoers,
To cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry, and the LORD hears
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted
And saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:15-19 (NASB)

Dear God,

This is getting really old. I've been clinging firmly to the faith you gave me and if I'm really honest, it's starting to feel ridiculous. For all the promises of your nearness, your provision, and your comfort for the brokenhearted, I feel like you've abandoned us. Grieving the loss of our child is bad enough, but insult has been added to that injury repeatedly enough that sometimes I wonder if you're enjoying this. It seems that no matter what we do, no matter how many times and in how many ways we seek help or cry out for it, our efforts fall into a glorious heap at our feet along with our prayers.

I have cried out again and again, begging for your mercy, begging for your help in any form it might take. I don't expect you to take away all our problems, but it would be wonderful if for once in the past year and a half, we could see some evidence that you've heard and that you care. I've never expected you to make my life easy or to spare us from suffering. But I feel like we've had our fair share and then some lately. Wasn't Ewan's death enough? Seriously! I feel bereft and abandoned, and I'm tired of telling myself over and over that you're near and present when it constantly feels like you're distant and absent. I'm tired of attempting to convince myself of how good and loving you are when it feels like neither could possibly be true. The tension between what you promise and what we experience grows tighter, and it is pulling me apart with it.

The Scriptures seem to mock me with their promises of how you hear the cries of those who call out to you and how you rescue them. I don't know how much more desperate we could be right now, and I'm not sure how much louder or more persistently we could cry. And sometimes I wonder how much more desperate we have to become before you will act. I may not see everything, but I know we have not been rescued. It makes me wonder if my cries matter to you, or if it's all just noise in your ears. I feel like a fool.

You have asked too much of me. I never thought I could do it all, and I never wanted to. That's why I have asked -- begged, even -- for your help. Repeatedly. Often, and for a long time. And again, we're left here feeling alone watching a bad situation deteriorate into something worse. We have sought help out and it has all come to nothing. How bad does it have to get before you will hear us? Before you will help?

I don't know where to go with this anymore. In spite of myself, I can't stop believing in you and your goodness -- can't stop believing that there's some goodness at the end of all this, and that someday we will see something that lets us know that this whole time was not entirely pointless. That we will see how you were here, and how you were caring for us. But I've got to be honest -- none of it looks like goodness or love, and it certainly doesn't feel like it either. And oh, how that feeling is exacerbated when we see all around us people with (albeit imperfect) lives that are easy and happy in comparison, enjoying the very things it would seem that (for the time being, at the very least) you have denied us. It is salt in the wound to see what you do for others.

You've got a hold on me, and for my part I'm glad you're not letting go. I'm tired and I'm frustrated and I'm more desperate than I've ever been. I feel like I'm losing my grip. I'm exhausted, God. I'm fed up and I'm weary. I've asked thousands of times, but I will ask again and again, because I cannot stop, because there is nothing else I can do:

Show us your mercy, Lord. Do not delay. How long, O Lord? How long?