Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Painful Faith in Dark Nights

"Now when Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet saying to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in his spirit and greatly troubled. And he said, "where have they laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus wept. So the Jews said, "see how he loved him!" But some of them said, "could not he who opened blind eyes also have kept this man from dying?" John 11: 32-37

A prayer of faith 

When she was at the tomb
and her brother had died
Mary came to you broken, weeping.
She cried,
if you had been here he would not have died.
If only you had been here.
She wept because she knew you:
You could have made things different. Deathless. Divine.
She wept knowing you:
You had set so many free,
Your power had settled exploding seas:
You were love and power and power and love
And the sun rising in the darkest of nights.

But this night the sun had not risen.

It was her faith in you that broke her heart.
If you had been there... it would not be so.
It was faith, not doubt, that dealt the tragic blow.
She knew and she'd seen and she trusted:
You could put a stop to pain,
And send it howling into the sea.
You could make whole the broken
Undo decay, send them leaping away.
You could liberate the ashamed
And send them home.
You could
You could
You did.

But this time the sun had not risen.
This time,
You didn't.
You hadn't. 
If only you had been there.
But you had stayed away. 
And now the splinters of her self looked in to the bleakest of tombs,
Staring into the stony face of her worst case scenario.
Worst case that would not have been,
If you had been there.
If you had been there she would not now feel the sting of shame or
Feel the burning gaze of those who said:
he blessed others but he didn't bless you. Maybe he couldn't. 
But her heart shattered because she knew,
she knew from those days where your words
Took root and grew
cut through twisted weeds that choked belief, 
that had hissed, he couldn't.
Yet in the darkness of the soil bloomed truth:
You could.
You could.
Of course you could.

But this time, you hadn't. 
If only you had been there.
If only.

And I know that you could put a stop to my heartache too.
You could reach out and heal those soul sores
Raw with wondering when you'll turn up,
Stinging with the disappointment, more, of wondering
If you do turn up,
Won't it be too late?
Isn't it already too late? 

My faith breaks my heart
Because I know the tenderness of those scarred hands
That can bind up the wounded -
That could bind up me.
You could.
You could.
But Lord, I'm undone.
And you say death has lost its sting
But life sure hasn't.
But it could.
Surely, Son of David, it could. 
My faith breaks my heart 
Because I know you are the Dawn to defeat the blackest of nights,
But I'm still in the abyss.  

Lion of Judah,
You could tear up the dark.
Lamb of God you could tend to my heart.
Gracious Jesus,
In whom the nations hope-
how my soul aches, quakes, trembles, breaks
Wishing you would,
Knowing, you could, 

Liberator of captives,
That you would break the chains of shame.
That you would settle the explosions,
silence those voices that cry: 
he blessed others but he didn't bless you. May be he couldn't, they say.
But you could.
You could.
Of course you could. 

Lord Jesus, I know-
I know because your word bloomed in my heart too-
Glory as of the only begotten of the Father,
full of grace and truth-
You bloomed in my heart-
Love and power and power and love
And you could.
You could.
You could. 

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