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A Lament for Victims of Predation


Rachel Donahue

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Rachel Donahue

How long, O Lord,
Will you let this cancer grow?
How many lives lost,
Innocence claimed
Before you bring an end?

Like a tumor within the breast
The desires of men grow unchecked,
Hidden
With hideous deformity,
Poisoning the Body.

The little ones are overcome,
Consumed by power and cast away
They cry to you,
But the heavens are clouded.
How long must they be ravaged?

Bring close your countenance, O God!
Incline your ear to our cries!
Let the light of your face
Penetrate the dark corners where evil dwells.

Let your justice be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Show no mercy,
But then, O Lord, who would stand?
Let your justice
Be sure as your great mercy.

Excise the lump
Though men be left to limp,
Radiate your holy presence
That men may be saved,
Though as through fire.

Cleanse us, O Lord,
And make us again your people,
Make us your people whole.

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Kimberly Wetzel
8 minutes ago, Rachel Donahue said:

Radiate your holy presence
That men may be saved,
Though as through fire.

Rachel, I love these lines. So great how you’ve used radiate in this context. I don’t think I’ve ever thought of God’s radiating presence quite like this before-something that kills even as it heals. Powerful!

 

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Rachel Donahue

@Kimberly Wetzel I'm not sure I'd ever thought of it that way before, either, but as I explored the metaphor of cancer and thought of the light of God's presence in those dark, hidden places, the word flashed in my mind like a small epiphany. I'm so thankful. This exercise has been extremely helpful in processing so many layers of bad news lately.

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Hope Henchey
2 hours ago, Rachel Donahue said:

Let your justice be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Show no mercy,
But then, O Lord, who would stand?
Let your justice
Be sure as your great mercy.

I love the wrestling here and I feel that too, especially in the imprecations psalms. I want justice to be done, but do I want justice to be done for all my sins? “Let your justice be sure as your great mercy” is such a wonderful petition to land on. It invites the Lord to work all that out, however He does it.

Beautiful prayer about such a heartbreaking topic. Thanks for this, @Rachel Donahue

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