Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Weep With Me

I dropped off my beautiful, funny, irreplaceable daughter this morning at her middle school with the following unbelievably lame and simultaneously appalling instruction: "If a strange man with a gun comes into your classroom, duck."

I am beyond heartsick. I feel somehow that the world is embracing despair, nihilism, death and violence as the only alternative. And, sorry folks, but it's the girls who are taking the brunt of it. That's how it feels to me today. So I offer this artless but heart-full reflection.

Judges 11:29-40

Come, my sisters, my brothers, and weep with me....

Weep for our lost daughters

Weep, my sisters, for the unnamed daughter of Jephthah

Jephthah the warrior,

Jephthah anointed by God's spirit,

Jephthah who vowed a vow that must be fulfilled

Jephthah vowed a sacrifice to God

Jephthah gambled away his daughter's life for a battle won

Out she came, his unnamed daughter,

Out she came singing, ready to celebrate her father's return,

And his vow turned to dust in his mouth

Weep, my sisters, weep with me

Weep for all the daughters who die, the unnamed girls who perish

Weep for those whose lives are gambled away

By cowardly legislators

By woman-hating rhetoric

By eternal, infernal images of grotesquerie and violence

Weep with me

Let your song turn to dust in your mouth

Let a custom arise in Israel, in Pennsylvania, in Montreal, in Colorado

Let the women and girls

And also the men and the boys

Set aside days in each year

In which they simply




steve westby said...

I just came across your blog from reading "Velveteen Rabbi." I hope your don't mind my sharing how much I was impressed by your writings.

As for "Weep With Me," in the face of such sorrow, perhaps the only balm is to know that our suffering is not alone.

I weep in the face of such violence as well. But I find it strangely comforting that I do still weep. That in the face of all of the violence and anger in our media and society, that basic humanity remains.

Thank you for your post and beautiful poetry.

Magdalene6127 said...

Thanks Steve. My consistent line as a pastor and preacher (and in trying to chat myself through valley-days such as this) has been "God is with us in the sorrow." I believe that. I also believe there is tremendous comfort in our being with one another in the sorrow.



Suzer said...

Sometimes it strikes me that, with all the hatred and divisiveness swirling around, perhaps our only commonality ends up being our sorrow.

This was beautiful, Mags. Thanks, and many blessings....

Magdalene6127 said...

Thank you Suzer. I think your remark is very perceptive... sorrow was at the heart of the great US sense of unity in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. Too bad it was twisted into something else entirely and therefore squandered!