Lord, I Do Not Understand

inspired by the events in Oslo
and by Psalm 119
Deborah Beach Giordano
© July 24, 2011

Lord, I do not understand it:
the psalmist insists
that Your words
give light
and wisdom –
but my soul
is surrounded by darkness
and confusion.

The world
seems to have gone mad;
slogans are chanted
anger is fueled
minds are shuttered
weapons are loaded
children are murdered
hearts are broken.

Violence
is celebrated
in video games,
government policy,
and foreign affairs,
but suddenly
and sanctimoniously
denounced in individuals:

someone
seems
to have gone
against the rules –
and the innocent
die
like sheep
to the slaughter.

Yet no voices
are raised
at the daily
desolating sacrifice,
the carnage
so commonplace
that it has become
unseen:

the deadly pursuit
of power and money,
the devouring
of the wealth
and destruction
of the health
of the elderly
and the weak.

There are no shouts
of condemnation
when grandmothers die
of heatstroke
and aged veterans
take shelter
in cardboard boxes
abandoned in the street.

No one cries out
against the attacks
upon the vulnerable,
no one weeps
for the lives cut short;
for those who fall, exhausted,
in the fight over the crumbs
that fall from the bloody feast.

We watch
the drama unfolding
recognizing, distantly,
damaged and broken lives
that can never be the same;
then
suitably outraged and shocked
we sigh and look away.

It’s not about us;
just a freak event,
a lone gunman,
a one-time aberration
we can safely ignore –
we’re OK, all is well,
things can keep on being done
the way they’ve been done before …

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About inklingscommunity

I am a struggling Christian, committed pacifist, near-obsessive recycler, incurable animal lover, inveterate tree-hugger; a nature mystic, a socialized introvert, an advocate for the vulnerable, an opponent of exploiters.
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