Malice

Lent 28 ~ This Last One

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Let the malice of the wicked come to an end,
            but sustain the just,
            O searcher of heart and soul, O just God.   Psalm 7: 10

          I was taken aback to see that 5 years ago, almost to the day, I had fervently said this exact prayer, to be saved from the unspeakable malice of three people in my place of work. Today, 5 years later, things have changed so much. One of the three has been removed permanently and no longer troubles me. One is miraculously beginning to find good roots within himself. But the last one…

          The last one still carries knives within her but she numbers not among of those who wound because they have been wounded, at least not in the classic sense of the word. This last one worships at the altar of herself. And anyone who does not fall to their knees before her is her enemy and one whom she must slay.

          This last one has tortured me endlessly over the past years. Yet, today, I write not as much for myself as for another. Because I have discovered that what this woman has done to me, she is beginning to do to another, knifing this new victim, who looks like a fool to the world, cowering, absorbing every strike and not fighting back. It brings back memories of what I went through, firing a wound within me for my helpless friend.

When will this end?

          Yesterday, our family took a long evening drive along country roads leading to the western skies. Massive dark clouds grew across the skies. Yet, behind them, the wide expanses were illuminated by the final light of the setting sun, rendering stunning shards and swathes of bright, rosy tangerines. In my heart, I fell to my knees before such breathtaking beauty and immense power. All the words I had sensed recently came before me once more,

Final hours

You’re almost there

          And yet, standing out stronger than anything was the beating my poor friend was enduring at the hands of a malice whose roots sank all the way into the darkness of narcissistic pride and cruelty .

          Take her away, Lord, I prayed of this last one.

          This last one is being nourished in malice by the joy she receives from seeing her victims crushed and also by the numbers who worship at her altar out of fear, weighted by the shadows they too carry within them.

Take her away, Lord 

          Because as long as we refuse to break and to glorify her, she will not rest and the cruelty will live on unabated.

Take her away, Lord 

          Because we have tried so hard to love her and to teach her to love – and we have failed, it seems. Take her where she can learn to love without setting a price, that her soul may be saved.

          We rounded the corner on the slightly bumpy road and my husband said, This is the last we’ll see of the sunset before we turn back east. Just at the turn, just as he said, even with the dark sky~towers in the foreground, the entire sky exploded into a shimmering vista of orange and gold.

          For a long minute, it stayed that way. Then, the turn came, and we turned back into darkness. Going back into the dark, quipped my husband gaily. After a glimpse of what lies beyond, I bantered back.

          But as we drove back, I silently wondered if my prayer would find its landing in God’s heart, for I am a sinner, often praying prayers out of the darkness of my own sins and less of the prayers I should actually offer up. And He, searcher of mind and heart, sees everything.

          Unexpectedly, today, once again comes, Let the malice of the wicked come to an end. After 5 years of pain and prayers. Is this God’s answer to my questions yesterday? This time, I see something I didn’t before, the end of Psalm 7,

If one does not repent,

God sharpens His sword,

strings and readies the bow,

Consider how one conceives iniquity;

is pregnant with mischief,

and gives birth to deception.

He digs a hole and bores it deep,

but he falls into the pit he has made.

His malice turns back upon his head;

his violence falls on his own skull.   ~  Psalm 7: 13; 15 – 17

          This last one. Lord, please, please help.

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