Lord, I also have known what it is like to be mistreated
To have short-sighted power-brokers criminalize lack of conformity
To have the struggle for justice called meddling
To be maligned for loving enough to speak the truth.
Lord, we have known betrayal.
The betrayal of love,
The betrayal of friends,
The back-stabbing ways of the workplace.
Lord, I have known grief
The grief that comes from knowing
you did nothing to bring your troubles upon yourself
The sickened heart that threatens to stop beating -- yet won't
The cloud of portent that refuses to be blown away.
Lord, I have even known death at the hand of assassins
Been entombed in a living grave -- with sobs and waves of pain
over wrongs that can never be righted
Frightened by my own decaying image in the mirror
Separated from those I love by ceaseless sorrow.
We have known mistreatment and betrayal, grief and death;
but, we have not known:
The balcony view that negates human opposition
Single-mindedness that co-pilots over all obstacles
The grace of unconditional love.
Without them your suffering would have been like ours.
On this Good Friday, we pray to begin the journey from seasonal sentimentality to a realization of how your suffering, death and resurrection continue to speak peace to our troubled souls. Amen.