The holidays are before us. The electricity is back on after last week’s powerful storm. And yet my heart is grieving. Saturday night, my family stood outside clapping and shouting “Thank you!” to the line and tree workers who reconnected us with the world. But the next day that same connection brought news of 26 worshipers shot dead in a Texas church.
That same weekend, the bodies of 26 Nigerian girls believed to be sex trafficking victims were retrieved from the Mediterranean Sea. Some were said to be as young as 14, the same age as my daughter and the age of Annabelle Pomeroy, the pastor’s daughter slain in Texas.
With the prophet Habakkuk, my heart cries:
“How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?
Destruction and violence are before me;
There is strife, and conflict abounds.
Therefore the law is paralyzed,
And justice never prevails.
The wicked hem in the righteous,
So that justice is perverted,” (1:2-4 TNIV).
Unlike the beloved dead, mourned and soon to be laid to rest in Texas, those who drowned off the shore of Italy have no one to claim them. How many die in anonymity, their death cries heard by no one but God, their names and burial paces lost forever?
“Why then do you tolerate the treacherous?
Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?
I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts;
I will look to see what he will say to me,” (1:13, 2:1).
And what will you say, Lord, to those who cry for justice?
What will you say, to those who beg for mercy?
Do you listen?
Do you still save?
What do you have to say for yourself?
“Then the Lord replied, ‘The revelation awaits an appointed time.
Though it linger, wait for it.
For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.’
The Lord is in his holy temple;
Let all the earth be silent before him,” (2:3, 14, 20).
My heart cries,
“Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Renew them in our day,
In our time make them known;
In wrath, remember mercy,” (3:2).
I am watching, Lord.
I am waiting.
The whole earth is waiting.
Meadow Rue Merrill, the author of Redeeming Ruth: Everything Life Takes, Love Restores, writes for children and adults from a little house in the big woods of midcoast Maine. Connect at www.meadowrue.com