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  • Writer's pictureRakhi McCormick

Give Light to Every Sorrow

Oh Lord

Who created the heavens and the earth and all they contain

Whose hand crafted every fiber of every being

Who sees and knows every falling tear

Every drop of blood shed here in this space

How long will you let our hearts be filled with anguish?!

Our souls cry out in pain and disdain

Withering away, short of breath in this place

Where justice like a river has yet to flow

And the blind lead the blind

Seemingly farther and farther away

From the glory of the story of the One

Who came so we might have life

Abundant life

And yet we languish in a land

Where we never get the upper hand

Where you remain hidden in the least

While the richest of the rich continue to feast

And yet...

We know the promise that remains

The truth of the refrain

that You have prepared for us

A place with You in the promised land

Give us strength as we wait for the day

Where our thirst - Your thirst - is quenched

Where our fists are no longer clenched

Grasping at straws so we can simply live

Because others refuse to live simply

We know your saving grace

As we gaze upon the face of the One

Who is alive in the places where we suffer

In the faces of the other

Confident that you run to greet us

As we run into the arms of our Creator

And so we bow our heads in simple praise

Grateful for the smallest of ways

Your mercy falls upon us

Even on the darkest days

Especially on the darkest days

Where the world seems to consume us

And we fight on buoyed by the Spirit

Who gives us rest from the chase

In the unforced rhythm of Your grace

While the promise of the resurrection

Gives light to every sorrow

I’ve been drawn to the psalms of lament over this last year, which is not likely surprising to most. With all that is going on in the world, the words “how long O Lord” come flowing from my lips with ease and regularity. What I love about lament is how the deep anguish can mingle so sweetly with an abiding trust in God’s providence and rescue. It has been my own saving grace when I am tempted to despair at the sight of all that is broken in this world.

I am reminded of St. Teresa of Calcutta’s reminder to “never let anything so fill us with sorrow that we forget the joy of Christ risen.” While that cannot be an excuse not to engage with the world or seek justice, peace, reconciliation, and an abundant life now, it helps to give me context to all the suffering. We come to the places of pain with a knowledge that this is not what God has desired for us, and that He has sacrificed everything to restore us in the eternal view of things. He pursues us like the Father running to greet the prodigal son, like the shepherd who leaves the 99 for the 1. He comes to us most intimately in those places of suffering, present in the “least of these,” in the “least” within us. Knowing this, we can cry out - in anger, in sorrow, in frustration, in angst, in seeming despair - without shame. He is already here in these places, His grace is at work within and around us, even if the world is not made right overnight. Even if we cannot say it is well with my soul at this moment, we can rest confident that all shall be well.

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