after the death of my friend's soul

I told You last night, as another one
bit the proverbial dust, strayed
from You, endangered herself--
in the midst of my grief,
with hands clenching pillows
and jaw set so hard it hurt,
my words broke my witness
as I told You that, given
the opportunity, I would gladly plunge
a nail into Your hand, a spear into
Your side. I hurt myself
in order to hurt You.

It was the cry, it was the broken
grief of a soul thrown into throes
of agony for too long, not
for her own soul's sake, but for those
of others, for those of her heart's
kindreds, for those of her at-arm's-
length relatives, for those
of the strangers who pass her by,
and all she hears is them cursing
God's name. Thus I cry.

A marriage of Love and Agony,
saying their vows to one another,
has pervaded my spirit. Love
for those You have brought into
my life; Agony for those who are
breaking and burning themselves,
tying themselves to a stake and setting
themselves on fire--when they
swore it was all just in good fun.
All in good fun? For them, I weep.
They fill the road ahead of me
with flaming coals and tell me to run.

I grieve for them, for every dear
sister and brother You placed
in my life, every one of them who
has turned from You and run
into dangerous places, where foxes
roam and vultures peck out
the hearts of all who forget
what abundant life is. I grieve
for the shackled souls, a proper grief,
one that rends flesh from bone
and spirit from Savior.

Only five know the depths
of the hurt, only five know that I cut
my skin two months ago, not to hurt
myself, but to cause You pain.
And only You know that I threatened
to do it again, if You dared to allow
yet another darling of my heart
to wander into thorny paths.
They told me to Love lost souls--
but, o God, they never said it would
cutburnbreakstingkill this badly.
In doing so, I scrape my heart out
and repair it that I may do it
all over again, over again and again.

Despite what I said last night,
and despite the harm I did
two months ago, I Love You.
"Batter my heart"--time after
time, moment after moment, deal
with the threads of Agony in my heart,
make them grow and stitch together
every Loving action, that I may be
prompted to compassion, stumbled
to Humility, moved to Love--
to Love--to Love--every heartbeat.
I break, and I burn, and I weep,
and You remain. Teach me
to touch You with adoration
without daggers, take my inner
angers, and heed not my words
or my heart or my actions,
but only Your sacrifice.

Lead me to lead, and I will become
foam in the ocean to carry
the sound of Your voice, entangling
their eyes to wonder Who created me
and to bring them back home
to the One I have hated, to the One
I can only bear to Love.

Dear Lord. I still hurt.
I still remember the death of her soul,
still hurt as much as I did yesterday.
And I still ache for You.

The End

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