Psalm for a Volatile Election


God of the refugee and the victim,
Of the dismissed and the dismayed,
and of this fractured and fractious nation:
To you we pray.

Forgive us.
We are standing in a pit of our own making.

Evil men have turned bombs and bullets on the innocent…
and they are guilty.
(Bring justice, O Lord.)
But so are we, who let fear strip us of compassion –
Who walled off our hearts long before there was any of this talk
of building a Wall.
(Have mercy, O Lord.)

We have turned our eyes toward that which glitters,
and it has made us blind to the knife-sharp edge beneath –
the one prone to slit the neck of the homeless and the homely
and call it progress. Make America great

Forgive us for believing we were ever great
when we have always, only, been dust.
When it is only your breath inside of us
that makes us live.

We have elevated celebrity, made an idol of fame.
We have given our hearts to a cruel master,
and now we find ourselves enslaved by our own selfishness.

Merciful Lord, remember us, caught
at the volatile center of an election,
at the tipping point, at the edge,
unsure how to stop it, how to vote
to love mercy
to walk humbly with our God.

Give us wisdom.

Open our eyes to see
beyond the glitter and glare.

Open our ears to hear
the truth beneath all of this
political bluster,
the violence simmering beneath all of this
“locker room talk.”

Father of the orphan and the refugee,
Protector of the violated, of the assaulted:
Home of the homeless,
Gate in the wall:
Rescue us from the evil of would-be leaders
And of our own hearts.

Nations rise and fall,
And still, you are God.

But please – keep us from the fall.

Your kingdom stands forever;
No evil can come against it.

But still – keep us from evil.

You are God of the whole big world…
and you are God of the United States of America –
of these waving fields of grain
of strip-malls and superstores
of our failing, fighting hearts,
forever loved by You
in spite of it all.


12 thoughts on “Psalm for a Volatile Election

  1. If there are those who do not believe scripture is still being written today this will surely convince them otherwise.
    Thanks, on behalf of us all as we attempt to live the great commandment. (Matt. 22: 37-40)

  2. This is hard to read, but it must be read. It must be said. Thank you for saying it with such passion. I’ve voted since 1960. Most of my votes have been a choice between the lesser of two evils, but this year I think I’m going to sit it out. I find no hope or inspiration in any of the four candidates on my ballot.
    Your words ring true…”we are standing in the pit of our own making”…
    We are the Prodigal Son who hasn’t yet decided to return home.
    The Father is anxiously waiting, looking each morning to see if we are coming up the road.

  3. Addie, two verses from today’s lectionary readings leapt out at me this morning. Their resonance with your wonderful psalm is eerie:

    Psalm 12:8…”The wicked prowl on every side, and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.”
    Jonah 2:8…”Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their true loyalty.”

    I hear these referring not necessarily to one candidate or another, or one issue or another, but rather to the whole, squalid, mess.

  4. What of forgiveness for the merciless slaughter of the innocent in the womb. The suppression of those who long to praise His name publicly. Forgive us as a nation for trying to tear Him out of every aspect of our lives? One doesn’t have to look to deep to see where this post is placing blame. Or maybe I have just been too immersed in the political posts lately that this just once again comes off a a Trump bashing post. The evil is blatant on both sides of the isle and i am excited to see how God moves in the near future!

    1. There’s certainly plenty of godlessness on both sides of the aisle, and has been well before these two candidates rose to prominence. God is always moving, but sometimes He moves AWAY from a nation, and that’s what I fear He has done with America at this point in time. The USA is certainly not exempt from His discipline.

  5. Oh Addie, this election is dragging down on my should

    “our failing, fighting hearts,
    forever loved by You
    in spite of it all.”


  6. This was moving to read. Sadly, I fear that we, as a nation, haven’t yet hit rock bottom, and it’s going to get much worse before it gets better (if, in fact, it ever does). I fear the glory days of the USA are behind us, and if they are, we have no one but ourselves to blame — and that includes worldly believers who’ve idolized wealth, “success,” social status, and “family values” over righteousness, humility, service and justice. I fear that we are now living in Babylon. I’ve seen friends being torn apart over this election and wonder how united of a nation we will really be after it, regardless of who “wins.”

    History books are full of once-great civilizations and nations that rose and fell, and there’s no reason to expect America to be exempt from that natural law. As a nation, we haven’t put God first for many decades now.

  7. This is beautiful. The words I have been thinking about are Loyalty versus Conviction. We have become loyal to parties,systems and ideals that we have squashed the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The conviction that has mercy on the aliens, the conviction that God hates sin, the conviction that God can use a man or a woman regardless of their color or party affiliation. We have dulled the conviction of obedience to God and have immersed ourselves into the opinions of men. God have mercy on us all

  8. Thank you. I shared this immediately on my FB page. I thank you for this prayer and I will be using it to pray, to truly pray, for that is all we can do with assurance. Thank you.

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