17Zion stretches out her hands, but there is no one to comfort her; the LORD has commanded against Jacob that his neighbors should become his foes; Jerusalem has become a filthy thing among them.
18The LORD is in the right, for I have rebelled against his word; but hear, all you peoples, and behold my suffering; my young women and young men have gone into captivity.
19I called to my lovers but they deceived me; my priests and elders perished in the city while seeking food to revive their strength.
20See, O LORD, how distressed I am; my stomach churns, my heart is wrung within me, because I have been very rebellious. In the street the sword bereaves; in the house it is like death.
21They heard how I was groaning, with no one to comfort me. All my enemies heard of my trouble; they are glad that you have done it. Bring on the day you have announced, and let them be as I am.
22Let all their evil doing come before you; and deal with them as you have dealt with me because of all my transgressions; for my groans are many and my heart is faint.
“Yahweh is in the right, for I have rebelled against Yahweh’s word”.
It is right that I suffer because I broke vows. I broke vows to God, vows to my wife and kids, vows to the church… vows to the world, in some ways. May my suffering be a warning; honor your word. Be a person of integrity. Keep your priorities straight. Honor your own core values.
And how can I only write of my own suffering this morning when the people of Brussels have been terrorized. Because I am selfish. Things only matter to the extent that they affect me. “Where were you when…” To be honest, for many of the tragedies of the last five years, I would be ashamed to answer that question. While mother’s grieved the loss of their children, I was in the arms of the one who brought me more comfort than any other. While bombs ripped through the streets, I drowned my sorrows in love. While Paris cried, I ate sushi.
And this is the nature of terror, the nature of suffering. It is when it hits home, I mean really hits home, that it becomes real. When the suffering is private and personal. When the fear is tangible and corporeal. When your own chickens come home to roost, that’s when you understand the anguish of the other.
I pray for Belgium as I’ve prayed for Paris, for Charleston, for Syria, for Baghdad, for Sandy Hook, for all the nameless and faceless dark skinned people around the world… but their cries will fade in my ears and my own will return with full force, in full throat. God, I am a selfish wretch!
Inside of me there is a coldness. I turn it on at will when feeling gets too hard. Lately, I have turned it on less, but it is there and I feel it turning on again. The feelings have become overwhelming. My own suffering. The world’s suffering. The never-ending cycles of pain and loss. The people cry. Their enemies mock. The lovers turn away. It’s too real. I want to be numb. God, forgive me.