April 23, 2003 Matthew

Behold My Affliction

I behold a mother, one who should be enlarging the place of her tent
stretching out the curtains of her tabernacle
spreading out her hands to the poor and needy
watching the ways of her household
and refusing to eat the bread of idleness
not letting her lamp be put out by night.

Her value is far above jewels
She rises while it is yet night to give food to her household
A woman with strength,
with dignity.

Instead, she spreads her skirt and offers bribes
to every stranger and passerby, to come to her
for fornication.
She fornicates but she is never satisfied.
Her heart is weak!
She does not get paid for her fornications, but pays, rather.
She weeps bitterly in the night
She has no comforter among her lovers.
She’s made lofty shrines in every public square, at the head
of every street.
Her gates are deserted.
Her priests sigh.
She is in bitterness.
Her enemies have become as chief, as the head
of the household.
Her enemies are at ease. She has been afflicted
for the multitude of her trespasses.
Her children are gone.
They have been taken captive by the foe.

She wanders the street aimlessly.
She thinks of all her desirable things from days gone by.
She remembers when her people fell into the hands of the enemy.
The enemy saw her, and they laughed at her destruction.

All her people sigh from seeking bread.
They gave their desirable things for food
to revive the soul.
She weeps, her eyes stream down with water
because a comforter who can revive her soul
is far from her.
She cries out “Oh Lord, behold my affliction, the enemy
has magnified himself! I am distressed! My inward parts ferment
and my heart is overturned within me!
For I have grievously rebelled!
On the outside the sword robs me of children
In the house, it is as death.
Hear I pray you, all peoples!
Hear and see my sorrows!
My maidens and young men are gone into captivity!”

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