Words are Not Enough

A few weeks ago I led Camas Friends in an examination of the place of Lament in Worship and asked the question “Is it OK to be mad at God?” (Audio here) The reason this question was on my heart so deeply is that a friend of over 20 years was murdered on Christmas Eve. I went home and performed the funeral. It was the hardest thing I have ever done as a minister. While I led Camas in writing their own laments I wrote one for my friend who was caught in the trap of the streets.

This Psalm will give you a bit of a window into my soul and my wrestling. I don’t include the name because the person who killed him has not come to trial and I don’t want some sheisty lawyer using this to put a murderer back on the street. I am not saying in this that my friend had no responsibility, just bemoaning the facts that his skin color and where he lived limited his choices in the racist city he lived in.

Words Are Not Enough

My Father, in the comfort of your Holy Spirit
Why did my friend have no options to support his family
Other than selling on the street?
Why did he have no opportunities?

God you kept me from dying on the operating table
You gave me opportunities to study
Father, remember the days of our youth
How my friend and I worshiped with joy

Father the injustice of privilege for the rich
And death for the poor must cease
The blood of the oppressed cries out from the streets
Bestow your favor on the poor
And bring the greedy to justice

I desire to experience your goodness again
To shout your goodness with joy
And share your love with compassion

Father, thank you for your mercy
Christ, thank you for your continual sacrifice
Spirit, thank you for your presence.
Intercede with your sighs
Words are not enough.

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Words Are Not Enough by Gilbert L. George is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at extrovertedquaker.wordpress.com.
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4 responses to “Words are Not Enough

  1. This touched my heart Gil & I wanted you to know I read it.

  2. Excellent poetic poem.
    B’qar’í, ‘anéni ’Elohéy tzid’qí – batzár, hir’chávta li;
    chanéni, ush’má‘ t’fillatí.
    God, guardian of my rights, You answer when I call,
    when I am in trouble, You come to my relief;
    now be good to me and hear my prayer.

    Reading this prayer reminded me of this psalm in Hebrew, and also in English. Especially the B’qar’í, “when I cry”.
    May the Lord remember your friend in His Kingdom.
    Aionia i mnimi! Memory Eternal!

  3. Thank you for your encouragement, and the Psalm.


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