Misery's Own Anguish
(A Prayer of Torment)
by Paul H. Kogel
Dear God, bring nigh thy face to me, that I be no more abandoned. Thine clement shadow, once such comfort, now absent, brings blisters upon my heart. Now my mind is ensnared in fog and shame and far greater shadow of despair by degree, than ever the comfort that once your presence did bring.
I have sinned... Unto thine holy eyes brought I carrion so foul and offensive, it causeth thee to turn away. Now, thy trust to look again escapes before thee. I have done this thing. I have caused this to fall upon thee, to apply the lash once more, to pound the nail yet deeper still. When I should have lifted up, instead I thought it but a trifle to press my weight upon the thorns that crown thy innocent head.
I am guilty... No thing upon, nor under, nor above the Earth could count me other than a debtor. I fall, I do, under the weight of all I have brought upon thee, and I cannot bear it. It must not be mine to carry. It must then press me asunder, for there is no help if not from thee. So I must allege it thine, and that it be thine alone.
I am clean... I am clean, I cry, oh Holy God, as if that hope be found. Yet how might I be clean if not by thine own hand? How might thou reach out thine hand to me unless thee turn back thy face unto me? Thou must come to me, my God; I am too fouled to come to thee, save upon my knees as it now be. Thou must turn back or I shall die here, and here is only the mire of my own making and I am loathe to stay herein.
Forsake me not... Thou hast not wished me here, I know. Thou hast made me for better than this. Thou shalt not abandon me. Tell me, Hero, that thou shall not discard me. That thou shall not desert me as I deserted thee. Give not unto me a just reward, but undeserved mercy as thou promised even before my own transgressions. For salvation is thine and thine alone - there is none other hope without thee.
Upon the promise of Christ I stand forever,