26

Twenty-six mass shootings in our country in the last eight years….

“Whose gentle God are you?”
We ask through gritted teeth.
A metaphor of great compassion
‘neath our feet.
Madness has come to change us,
Put questions in our mouths.
We fling them at You with such force for
We want answers now.
You pick them up. You cradle them
As heartbreak makes us shout.
Trauma fills our outstretched arms.
O God, send evil out!

We pull you down, O Gentle Shepherd.
We throw stones, O Prince of Peace.
For Your sheep are no longer with us
And we who live find no relief.
You make no sound in Your defeat?
Our agony too much for metaphor?
We wipe our hands of fairy tales –
Can we follow You no more?

But what through tears our visions focus,
What is this wood thrust into ground
That shakes our earth around its setting
And Son of Man hangs from it down?
There are no scars; His wounds still fester.
A crown of thorns sits upon His head.
New soldiers now, they circle ‘round Him.
Like us, all He can see is red.

Awake! We sleep. Our anger blinds us!
His mystery courses through our veins!
The cross still stands, the nails still fasten –
But this is not all that remains.
Time’s no matter in God’s thinking
For that Sacred Heart still beats!
Our anger silenced, our faith kindled
As Christ climbs down from that damned tree.

His passion adds sense to what we suffer.
His rising takes sorrow and eases its bite.
His justice stands guardian to every life’s value.
“It is finished…”
      We can rest –
          God will make it all right.

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