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The Optimist's Lament

from The Optimist's Lament by madcrasher



I'm tired, y'all. I've survived moments before,
Points in time it's easier to just walk out the door
Than brace, elbow bent, against the crash of fate;
Stand my ground while the waters around dissapate.
This is different, less like a wave than a bog:
Knee-deep mud in a perpetual slog.
Hoping for a break, just a chance to recharge,
But the specter of it all keeps looming large.
Every direction the world's falling down,
All that was once stable keeps shifting around.
Too many that I want to trust in to light the way
Started letting their true colors out to play.
I wondered if the culture held more sway than we thought;
The men from Nashville assured me that it did not.
I wanted to debate, but they wrote Article Ten
Drawing lines in the sand between the sheep in the pen.
I wondered why the ones so concerned with life
Voted to keep the sick and lame under more strife;
Turns out, they just didn't want a win
To go to a man not political kin.
And it keeps piling on: cries to end racism's trap
End with platitudes and words instead of fixing the gap.
Children die in school, and we just roll the dice
Saying young lives lost are just part of freedom's price.
Proud ignorance rebranded as smart;
Attempts at compromise just drive us more apart.
And either way: humanism, common grace;
No matter what you call it, it's fleeing this place.
As the DJ up top spins his words in the air
Saying only him, in charge, can make life fair.
I want to do more with all this than just vent,
So hear me now, Yahweh, in my lament:

How long, O Lord, will this injustice stand?
I've played my part, I know; but it must end!
How long must we stumble through this night
While the enemy makes war with overwhelming might?
How long will my country be held in sway
By those who abuse their power every day?
How long must I carry this burden of stress
Fearing I and my neighbor will be stuck in this mess?
I can't fix this, I am only one man.
You are God, I am not; I can't do what you can.
You know the hearts that need work for this change to begin.
You have the picture to see where the sickness has been.
I'm scared, God. I'm scared because I don't know
How this chapter's going to end, where it's all going to go,
What's still left to face before we reach the dawn,
How many battles we'll lose before the war is won.
And you tell me not to fear for I am loved by you,
And even though I doubt, I know that that's still true.
So Father, Son, and Spirit, hear my prayer tonight:
In the name of Jesus, make this right!
May Your kingdom come here on earth,
May we see in each other what we're truly worth.
Teach us all to love freely without reservation.
Show Your glory belongs to all nations.
Comfort the afflicted, and afflict us comfortable;
Flip the tables that we used to sell our souls,
And show your nature I'm afraid that we lost:
That the love You have is more than worth the cost.

I cannot rest until I see you face to face;
Until then, make me a giver of your grace.
May the world know you as you help me to labor
To love You and love my neighbor.


from The Optimist's Lament, released September 25, 2020
Performed and produced by Evan Hildreth. Written by Evan Hildreth, Joseph Dowsley, and Jesse Hildreth.




madcrasher Greenville, South Carolina

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