Out of the Depths: When Churches Become Crime Scenes

Out of the depths have we cried unto Thee, O Lord.

Out of the morgue, the hospital, the cemetery soil baptized with a thousand tears.

Out of the rubble of our shattered lives, our dead children, our bitter grief and lacerated hearts.

Out of the grave into which we have plummeted, alive yet dead, the dirt of a thousand decimated hopes spilling down into that black, hopeless pit.

Out of these depths have we cried unto Thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear our voice.
Let Thine ears be attentive to the voice of our supplications.

But even though every prayer thrown toward heaven lands within our Lord’s open ears, that is not enough.

It is not enough to have a God way-up-there who hangs on our every word.

It is not enough that he hears or even that he pities our predicament.

We need something more.

Out of the depths have we cried unto Thee, O Lord.
And below us a Voice resounds, “Out of the depths have I answered you, my child.
Hear my voice."

Out of the depths of Joseph’s pit, cast there for you by my brothers in the flesh.

Out of the depths of Jonah’s fish, cast there for you by the hands of Gentile men.

Out of the depths of

  • the mocking and the stripping
  • the whipping and the nailing
  • the bleeding and the dying

Out of the depths of the grave, have I cried unto you.
Hear my voice.
Let your ears be attentive to the voice of My love.

For since it was not enough that the Lord of heaven and earth hung on our every word, the Word came down from heaven and hung upon the cross.

Out of the depths of his humiliation, out of the depths of his suffering, out of the fathomless depths of his love for you, he cries: “I am enough.”

Where is God in tragedy? Where is he when houses of worship become crime scenes?

Where he always is: in the crucified Christ, where he displays his cosmic love that enfolds all humanity; makes our griefs and sorrows and sins his own; and brings us through death to the resurrection of the body and the life everlasting.

For no matter how deep you go, out of the farther depths the crucified God of love speaks forth a word of life and hope and healing for you.