If every act of violence—every single one—
boomed like heavy bass,
or screeched like nails on a chalkboard,
would it be less common?
But what if it IS loud—
and we’ve just grown hard of hearing it?
What if we’ve turned down the volume
till urban killings, wars in far-off nations, child abuse,
slavery, the rape of girls in other places
is merely white noise, background buzz?
Has God, too? Has He grown deaf
or simply unplugged the speakers of our pain?
Wouldn’t you—if that’s all you heard from this broken world?
Remember the crucifixion?
What a soundtrack that had!
Moaning, wailing, cries of pain and terror, sobs of grief,
shouts of anger and hatred, too.
The clamorous theme of our broken humanity.
Darkness covered it—could God not bear to watch?—
But He didn’t cover His ears!
No, He added to the noise.
Not with a whimper or a whisper—
with a loud cry!
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The shout of the Son Incarnate,
victim of intentional violence,
carrier as well of the entire burden of the image-bearers
who’d spurned the image and lived the loss.
The Father heard,
with gusting winds,
a shaking earth,
and then, a final, awesome noise:
the tearing of a thick, dividing curtain.
Top to bottom, it split
With a rip that shook the universe,
Opening the way for us
to whisper our pain
Directly into God’s ear.
*I always feel like I must add a disclaimer when I attempt poetry. I’m not a poet! There are lines in here I like, but the whole lacks something (the problem with not being a poet is that you don’t know what’s lacking!). So, if there are any poets out there who read this and think, “I know what I would do!”, PLEASE feel free to tinker with it. I would love to post an updated, collaborative version.