My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
And why are you so far away from my distress?
Enemies surround me and call me wicked;
They loudly say to one another, “There goes an evil man.”
They proclaim to all who pass by:
He is a sinner in the eyes of God.
O Lord, I hear them and their words wound my soul;
My heart overflows with the assurances of your disgust.
All my life I have served you and given you praise;
Your commandments were ever before me.
I have listened to your still, quiet voice;
In ways of compassion and kindness has it guided me.
But voices rise up to take your words from my ears;
The cawing of my enemies strive to drown you out.
I am washed away from your presence by the fear of others;
Their hatred buries me alive and hides the light of day.
But there is no place where I am separated from you;
No ocean or river can take me out of your realm.
Even in the darkness of the grave I am not lost;
Your sight goes from the highest heaven to the depths of Sheol.
I hear you still, calling me to service and compassion;
You assure me of your continued presence.
Your words fill my heart and I am renewed;
I am revived by the knowledge of your love.
I will praise your name, Almighty God, and celebrate your creation;
For you have not forsaken me, nor are you far away.
My heart is glad for the love you have shown me;
A love which those who fear and hate cannot comprehend.
You have made me whole, and shaped me in your image;
I am wondrously formed and there is no one who can take you from me.
Day and night will I hold you in my heart, my spirit shall sing;
From sunset to sunset will I proclaim your love.
Gregory Gadow lives in Washington state.