Thursday, January 24, 2008

BEWARE! this might make you cry.

On world AIDS day, a friend of mine read this in front of our church and I was bawling at like line two so I asked him for a copy. Who doesn't want to cry (note sarcasm)?? I figured that you all would want to share this with me.
Anyway, the friend who wrote this was a missionary in Namibia, South Africa, and Botswana where he lived and learned and loved. His name is Doug Linscott (this is being blogged with his permission). It is styled after a lament psalm (see quote below).

A psalm for the AIDS children of Africa

Oh, Lord God, why do you seek to punish the innocent?
Why do you send your judgement on those who have done no wrong?
You are the Creator,
Why do you seek to destroy that which you have made?
Oh God, it was our fathers who forced themselves on us,
Our daddy's and uncle's who raped us.
Why must we bear the HIV infection in ourselves?
Why do you see fit to ravage our young bodies with AIDS?
Lord, if you do not act,
As you acted with Moses, when he lifted up the snake in the wilderness,
We will die for the sins of our fathers,
And our land, our continent will be barren.
If you do not act our land will become a wasteland
The children of Africa will be no more.
If you withhold your healing power,
we will be bones in the dust of the desert.
Even now Lord, at this moment
Our villages and farms are being managed by children,
Lord we do not have the wisdom to do these things.

But we know we can trust in you,
You are the greatest healer, nothing is too hard for you!
You are our sheild and our spear
You are the thorn barrier that keeps us safe.
Be like a wall of concrete to us
A wall surrounded by razor wire, that none may penetrate!
You will protect us from the lion and the hyena,
The asp and the scorpion will not harm us.
Lord, we turn to you because the arm of man is too short,
But we know that your arm is long and will save us!
Lord God of the Universe, strong to save,
Heal us and our land!

I am with you, I was there when you were raped by those you trusted,
I am with you, even now as the disease ravages your bodies,
I suffer with you and all the pain you know, I know as well
I will never leave you alone, but will hold you in my arms till the end and beyond.

Thank you Lord, for your comfort,
but can we not live to ripe old age as our grandparents did?

But we will continue to praise you even in hardship,
For you are God and there is no other,
Blessed be the name of the Lord!

"The theological significance of a lament is that it expresses a trust in God in the absence of any evidence that He is active in the world. Through a sequential and deliberate structure, the lament moves from articulation of the emotion of the crisis, to petition for God to intervene, to an affirmation of trust in God even though there has been no immediate deliverance from the crisis"


Aly Cat 121 said...

I didn't cry but I did get mad. Gad didn't create the destruction of African, MAN did. Africa is the Mother is all creation and her children are killing her. But hey, what do I know - I'm just some ghetto chic from the street.

Raquel said...

I'm with you.
Check out the note I added to the bottom of the post and that may clear it up.
And what you know and who you are matters.