We bring Our Sacrifice of . . .

“We bring our sacrifice of … innocence lost.
~ We would offer You more, but we can’t.
We bring our sacrifice of … deep anger.
~ We would offer You other, but we must grieve unmentioned horrors.
We bring our sacrifice of … crush expectations.
~ We would offer You better, but we must fall back on cruel realities.
We bring our sacrifice of … social brokenness.
~ We would offer You healthier, but we’ve been reduced to awkwardness.

We bring our sacrifice of … mistrust toward You.
~ We would offer You the spectacular, but even You didn’t step in.

So, if we continue our walk with You, don’t:

Recoil when we do,
Cry out when we do,
Look away when we do,
Limp when we do,
Hide in ‘safe corners’ when we do.

For from these contorted linens
we must dress ourselves
And from these confusing effects
we search for an offering.

We bring our sacrifice of … dissociation.
~ We would offer You wholeness, but frightening fractures dog us.
We bring our sacrifice of … silence.
~ We would offer You anthems, but our names were lost with our voice.
We bring our sacrifice of … suspicion.
~ We would offer You a child’s embrace, but fear still seizes that child just as accusations still echo.
We bring our sacrifice of … illnesses.
~ We would offer You stature and might, but the toxin has left atrophy and illness.
We bring our sacrifice of … confusion.
~ We would offer You wit and imagination, but sleep comes hard and waking is for vigilance—if only to stumble on another fixation.

This is our praise, offered to One who must have
lost so much in his incarnation—including the praise of angels—
to take on the embodiment of:
disfigurement, isolation, scorn, rebuke, suspicion …

…and brokenness of a kind close enough
to understand this kind of praise

AMEN”

Andrew Schmutzer, The Long Journey Home: Understanding and Ministering to the Sexually Abused, 388-89

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Faces, by Micheal O’Siadhail

Faces

Neat millions of pairs of abandoned shoes
Creased with mute presence of those whose

Faces both stare and vanish. Which ghetto?
Warsaw, Vilna, Lodz, Riga, Kovno.

Eight hundred dark-eyed girls from Salonica
Bony and sag-breasted singing the Hatikvah

Tread the barefoot floor to a shower-room.
Friedlnder, Berenstein, Menashe, Blum.

Each someone’s fondled face. A named few.
Did they hold hands the moment they knew?

I’ll change their shame to praise and renown in all
The earth… Always each face and shoeless footfall

A breathing memory behind the gossamer wall.

(From The Gossamer Wall)

Accessed at http://osiadhail.com/poem/