A lament. Written for Good Friday and every day when the darkness takes over the whole horizon and beyond.
You will do your spirit a kindness if you listen to Vapor while you read. Let it wash over you and speak in ways words alone never could.
Broken. Stained. Torn and beaten, loathed, betrayed.
These were the way of Jesus’ final hours.
These are the way people live day in, day out.
Where is the rescue we were promised? The awaited victory, the turnabout over the oppressor, the justice for the down and out, greatness of the one who is, who was, and always will be?
We walk the desert sand, the night air cold on our faces, staring into the vacant eyes of ones we love and seeing no lifeline but the pain that drives them to take one more haggard breath.
We see a family split apart by fear, by desire, by darkness, by a terror too brazen to wait for night. A child twisted inside out by another child turned outside in and grieving parents mourning the loss of the life they once believed in for them all.
Where is their hope? Where is the day promised long ago when wrongs are made right and the stains would be scrubbed away to shine…?
The cold and the dark, cowards of the night, can’t stand the heat of the day, and desire companions to share the emptiness. Desire that envies the warmth and the life, that claims all it sees and treads on everything to satisfy.
Yet it deceives with the comfort and consolation of empty promises and takes what it wants from those deceived and those who remain true, without discrimination or hesitation.
Until one day someone chooses to face the desolation. Someone chooses not to pretend it isn’t there. Someone chooses to fill the emptiness and give the warmth and light that lack. Someone chooses to give himself and never get back.
Really Why? Why? Why? Why?
I look at the people I meet every day, and the stories we tell, and the news all around, and everything, everything, everything. And I cry. And Why? Why? Why? Why?
But the gift, the warmth, the self that could never be less, was meant to do something about the darkness, about the pain, about the dissonance.
But did it? Could it? Was it enough?
It didn’t stop when that happened to her. It didn’t stop when that happened to them. It didn’t stop whey they did it in his name. It didn’t stop what she felt when she was betrayed. It didn’t stop when the last breath escaped, and the spirit faded away. It didn’t stop when the death inside sapped the life away years before or the love was stolen or voice stilled.
It didn’t stop them. And it won’t stop the next thing, or the billions of wrongs and hurts happening right now, at this very moment.
Can it? Could it? Will it?
Will it ever meet the magnitude of the promises? The size too big to believe?
Impossible and holy.
I reach for the wind, for the vapor beyond holding onto. Because I have to. I need to.
I need life. We need life. Life that fills the void.