Abuse comes in a hundred shades of black, and it is always horrible.
Verbal and emotional abuse, subtle or violent, crosses the gender and age divides, leaving its victims with inner turmoil and struggling for self-esteem.
The various writers of the Psalms we are going to read this week all suffered in this way. They faced lies and deceit, malicious tongue-wagging and had their reputations falsely tarnished. The readings reflect their honest responses to these situations – and it does not always make for comfortable reading!
O Lord, hear me as I pray;
pay attention to my groaning.
Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
for I pray to no one but you.
Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord.
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked.
Therefore, the proud may not stand in your presence,
for you hate all who do evil.
You will destroy those who tell lies.
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe.
Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make your way plain for me to follow.
My enemies cannot speak a truthful word.
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with flattery.
O God, declare them guilty.
Let them be caught in their own traps.
Drive them away because of their many sins,
for they have rebelled against you.
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
let them sing joyful praises forever.
Spread your protection over them,
that all who love your name may be filled with joy.
For you bless the godly, O Lord;
you surround them with your shield of love.
Lord, please shut my ears to foul talk. I don’t want to hear it and have my mind polluted by it. AMEN