Lifter of Heads

Sam Hardman

Lifter of Heads

How grim the world often seems, O Lord.

Violence and oppression prosper

in the hand of the wicked:

Brutal murders of Your sons and daughters –

princes and princesses in Your kingdom –

in lands far away while the world looks on –

or looks away – in silence.

 

But truly not in silence.

Rather, with raucous voice

profaning things you call holy.

Blaspheming Your Name and works.

Worse yet, much of Your Church

lies lethargic and impotent,

distracted by other loves.

Irreverence and unholiness seem to reign.

 

Yet inward glance into our own hearts

yields no comfort.

Judgmental and selfish thoughts,

self-pitying fancies,

complaints, unthankfulness,

pride, faithlessness.

We know all too well –

yet not nearly as well as we ought –

that we have our own “little” treasons.

But no treason is ever little.

 

And so unspeakable evil without –

but also within.

So many reasons for despair.

Such heaviness, who can bear it?

And we groan with all creation.

 

But You, O Lord,

You are the Lifter of our heads.

We beseech You, refocus our gaze.

Turn it upward,

that Your light might flood our souls

in the midst of this darkness.

Grant us grateful hearts

for mercies new every morning.

Thankfulness for Your covenant faithfulness

that never falters.

Gratitude for promise of imperishable inheritance,

kept in heaven for us.

Overflowing appreciation for Your kind strength

that vanquishes our darkness and quells our fears.

 

How can our souls remain

downcast within us

if You, O Lord,

the Source of all delight,

are indeed our delight?

 

Help us to remember who we are

through Your redeeming grace –

sons and daughters of the King.

Make us to know and believe

even when evil seems to have the upper hand,

and when the deceiver whispers lies in our ears –

that You, the true Light,

have already dawned in our hearts

amidst this darkness.

That You are the Most High King.

Lift our heads again, we pray,

to see the light of Your countenance.

 

And may Your kingdom come,

Your will be done,

on earth as it is in heaven.

(S.G.H.  2/5/2020)

Ardsley Bible Church