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  • Writer's pictureAllison Wilcox

Why, O Lord?

Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? In arrogance the wicked persecute the poor— let them be caught in the schemes they have devised. For the wicked boast of the desires of their heart, those greedy for gain curse and renounce the Lord. In the pride of their countenance the wicked say, “God will not seek it out”; all their thoughts are, “There is no God.” Their ways prosper at all times; your judgments are on high, out of their sight; as for their foes, they scoff at them. They think in their heart, “We shall not be moved; throughout all generations we shall not meet adversity.” Their mouths are filled with cursing and deceit and oppression; under their tongues are mischief and iniquity. They sit in ambush in the villages; in hiding places they murder the innocent. Their eyes stealthily watch for the helpless; they lurk in secret like a lion in its covert; they lurk that they may seize the poor; they seize the poor and drag them off in their net. They stoop, they crouch, and the helpless fall by their might. They think in their heart, “God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.” Rise up, O Lord; O God, lift up your hand; do not forget the oppressed. Why do the wicked renounce God, and say in their hearts, “You will not call us to account”? But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan. Break the arm of the wicked and evildoers; seek out their wickedness until you find none. The Lord is king forever and ever; the nations shall perish from his land. O Lord, you will hear the desire of the meek; you will strengthen their heart, you will incline your ear to do justice for the orphan and the oppressed, so that those from earth may strike terror no more. ~ Psalm 10

Perhaps like me over this past month you have been devastated by the news and seen the pictures of everything that has been happening in Israel and Gaza. You've seen the butchery of Hamas in the Israeli Kibbutzes. And then pictures of people - including children - who have been bombarded by bombs in Gaza.

You see the seemingly unending loss of life in Ukraine.

And perhaps like me, when you see all of this you asked yourself:

"Why, O Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?"

It is hard - so hard - see see tragedy and violence in this world, and not at least wonder what God is thinking and wondering about it all. It's hard not to want to fall to your knees and plead with God to intervene.

And that perhaps is at least part of what should be happening.

The Psalms teach us that God is looking for our heart-rending words. That God wants to hear our lamentations. Is not at all put off by our demonstrations of grief and anger at the wrongs in the world.

In falling to our knees we perhaps demonstrate that we know that the way of violence and terror is not God's way. We know God has another way.

And in knowing that is not God's way, perhaps our hearts open just a little more to reach out and do our part in showing others that we know that God's way is a way of peace and not violence.

As we continue to to fall to our knees in lamentation, God continues to strengthen our hearts. Our resolve.

Our nerve and our love.

So that we may be part of the reason that violence may indeed strike terror no more.

Lord, shed your peace on this world and fill our hearts with it that we may be symbols of your justice and mercy amidst chaos and violence. Amen.

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