We can hear you.
You who are battered and bruised …
You who are suffering an unspoken broken behind doors we know ––
in our churches, across our tables, our streets, right now across this warring, angry planet — at the hands of lovers and leaders, and enemies and family, you who are bleeding in the shadows, who are in the back pews — or turning and walking out the door —
who are abused, persecuted and forgotten in corners all over this busted world.
We will lay our ears down to the ground and we will hear the rocks cry out and we’ll be rocked and howl loud and long with you.
The media may mask you, indifference may ignore you, agendas may muzzle you, rhetoric may silence you and headlines may miss you — but we will listen through our tears, tears washing away all the noise of power so we can hear.Because People of the Word are to be for the voiceless, to stand with the silenced, to never make pain out to be invisible, as injustice is intolerable.
Because People of the Church are to be those who stand up so safe places open up, who lead by always going lower, who expose and confront abuse everywhere they find it, so the hope of the Gospel can be of use anywhere it goes.
Because People of the Cross are to be witnesses for the suffering, and responders to the victims, and testifiers of Truth, no matter the cost, no matter the risk, because Christ is The Truth — and where there isn’t Truth, there isn’t Christ. Why ever hide or cover-up the Truth?
No one need ever fear telling the Truth about anything — unless we fear Christ isn’t capable of redeeming everything.
It comes like bona fide good news through all the breaking bad news:
The Gospel always releases any need of covering up and makes a place for standing up and opening up. Be brave.
The Gospel always completely changes one’s eternal position before God, yet never changes one’s present consequences for crimes against people. Be assured.
The Gospel always says that we care more about the victimization of the vulnerable than about the reputation of the comfortable. Be comforted.
The Gospel always cups your face in the midst of your worst suffering — and offers you the cup of communion through your worst suffering. Be Loved, Beloved.
People will fail, systems will fail, institutions, programs, plans will fail… but you will never be forsaken, abandoned, rejected, forgotten or alone…. He gives you Himself and never stops whispering: With You. With You. With You.
Because the mercies of God never fail and His mercy envelopes your every thrumming thought and begging pulse.
I heard that once, and we whisper it down the line of sufferers, like passing on resuscitation —
Rechem, Mercy, Rechem, Mercy.
The word in Hebrew for mercy is rechem — the very same word for womb, with different vowel points.
Mercy is a womb. The Mercy of God is like a womb for the children trafficked, the vulnerable abused, the suffering who cry soundlessly behind masks.
Mercy is God making Himself your all encompassing safe place — so you can grow. Mercy is always that safe space that allows growth. And new every morning.
Only where there is mercy is there growth — and hope for change. Mercy is what begs us to be mercifully safe places for the suffering and victimized and abused and all the broken in our families, our communities, our churches, in our aching, breaking world, — so every soul can enlarge and grow strong.
In a world of injustices, there are a world of people who will stand with the powerless — so there is less injustice and more of the power of the Gospel.
There is a whole world of people who won’t stop listening:
Lay your ear up against any suffering and that’s the beat you can always hear — the heart beat of our God, Emmanuel: With You. With You. With You.
God always with you.