The Heat of the Summer

Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, O you my friends,
for the hand of God has touched me! (Job 19:21)

In the heat of the summer, don’t shame me:
whether I sit scratching my skin-sores with a potsherd,
or whether I groan at the grievous wound of my soul’s sin,
both are despair-breeding calamities worth your pity,
my brothers and my sisters, listen to me:

In the heat of the summer, don’t shame me:
turning your Bible-breathing words into dragon’s fire
leaving only the ashes of my soul for you to pick over,
a wasteland of your pious pontifications that dries up hope
like the last drop of water in an arid land.

In the heat of the summer, don’t shame me:
don’t tell me to shut up as I cry out to my Lord for faith-healing
like blind Bartimaeus sidelined by crowd-hushers
and dry-bone-theology-pushers until he burst out
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” knowing his Redeemer lived
and he would see him with his own eyes.

In the heat of the summer, don’t shame me:
as I lie in the parasitic crucible of pain with diseased limbs
and the face of my weeping like a twisted Greek mask
(don’t ask me to be proper and acknowledge God’s sovereignty
when it lies heavier on me than you can know)
with just enough God-given breath to cry, “Lord, have mercy!”

In the heat of the summer, don’t shame me:
stay silent like helpless medics at a dead end, don’t hem me
with the letter of the Law, stoning me with rock-hard hearts,
but cry out with me by Spirit-given, faith-flowing fleshly hearts
to the LORD our Maker who is the LORD our Healer to make right
this broken-bodied clay with the least mud of his mercy.

Psalm 32:3-4 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.

Luke 18:35-41
As he drew near to Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. And hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what this meant. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God.

John 9:14
Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes.

Philippians 2:7
Indeed he was ill, near to death. But God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

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