Sunday, May 7, 2023

For the Wailing Women: A Lament

This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come; send for the most skillful of them. Let them come quickly and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears and water streams from our eyelids.”

Jeremiah 9:17-18 NIV

Bronze sculpture of Mother Teresa, from Dallas Blooms 2023


Where are the wailing women?

The sackcloth saints weeping with Rachel for her children,

The children bereft of childhoods, futures, parents, life?

Who will lament with our brothers and sisters half-dead, beaten, lying in the road,

Robbed of health, love, livelihood, hope?


We have left undone the good we ought

And done instead what we should not;

There is no health in us.

We have forsaken Your ways

And followed the stubbornness of our own hearts:

Lovers of self, lovers of money,

Lovers of power and riches,

Lovers of influence and fame,

Lovers of self, not lovers of God or neighbor.

We have averted our gaze from suffering

And passed by on the other side of the road.


Where are the ash-crowned mourners

Lamenting the loss of life

And lack of love for least of these?

The voice of Abel’s blood cries out to God Almighty

From the dust to which he has returned.

We are indeed our brother’s keeper,

And keep him we have not.


Revive us, O Lord. Give us Your eyes to perceive

The brokenness our dull hearts can’t feel or blind eyes see.

You hear the cries of the destitute and bind up broken hearts.

In all our afflictions You were afflicted.

You carried our griefs and sorrows, not only sin.

Who will weep with you at the tomb of Lazarus?

Who will be Your hands and feet among a shattered, starving generation?

Give us Your courage, love, and grace

To crawl under the overwhelming burdens,

Shoulder to shoulder with suffering,

To love the sick, sorrowful, and imprisoned

In body or spirit, in illness or addiction,

In poverty, loneliness, or despair—

And so lavish love on You.


Raise up the wailing women, the sackcloth saints, the ash-crowned mourners

With your tender mercies overflowing broken hearts.

Raise up ash-crowned mourners,

And use their tearful prayers, through Your Spirit,

For the healing of the nations.

-crlm, 4 May 3023, National Day of Prayer

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