Psalm 109: Response
Daughter of paraplegic, paralyzed from a hit-and-run accident by a drunk driver (my voice)
- They encircle me with words of hate; they attack me without cause.
He may not have said anything, but his actions were so much louder than his words…he attacked my father without cause. He decided to drive drunk and ran over my father as he was biking that morning. The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when we were sound asleep. The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when my father decided to bike to WalMart. The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am just hours after my sister’s high school graduation. The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when he realized he hit someone. The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when he heard my father screaming in agony and begging for help! The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when he saw the blood, shattered glass, dented hood, cracked windshield, and darkness…The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when he decided to flee the scene and not so much as move my father out of the middle of the road. The morning of May 27, 2012 at 2:38 am when he left my father for dead….No he didn’t encircle us with words of hate, he encircled us with actions of hate. He attacked without cause, and didn’t have the heart to attempt making amends. He may not have said anything, but his actions were so much louder than his words.
- Appoint a wicked man over him; may an accuser stand at his right side;
He hit my father and drove off. He heard and felt the impact of my father’s body on his windshield, and drove off leaving him for dead. Appoint a wicked man over him, a man just as wicked as him for leaving my father to die. Let an accuser stand at his right side because he roams around unscathed while my father is left with the function of only 25% of his body.
- Let him be tried and convicted; let him be judged and found guilty.
My father received no justice because he was the victim of a hit and run, with minimal convicting evidence left behind. We have never seen the face of his attacker. Because of his lack of common decency in coming forward, God please step in and convict him. He doesn’t need a trial because we all know what he did that night. He needs no judgment since he fled. Just find him guilty. There was nothing fair about what he did to my father, so why should I be fair to him? I beg of you to convict him, God!
- Let his days be few; let another take over his position.
As a member of the body of Christ, I am taught to love people despite their faults and misdeeds because we all stand in the need of Your infinite grace and mercy. But God it’s hard for me to feel love for this man when I have watched my father suffer for the past 2 years. And right now, I’m not feeling like attempting to love him, so let his days be short like he almost shortened my father’s days. He coded three times!! He had multiple organ failures, his spine is completely severed, he has memory lapses, he was only forty! Let that asshole’s days be few! Wherever he is, whatever his position, let someone else have it since he took my father’s standing position away from him!
- Let no one show him mercy; let none pity his orphans;
My father was in the middle of the street at 2:38 in the morning for hours waiting for someone to find him, and that son of a bitch didn’t think enough of my father to get out of his vehicle and see what he had done. He had no mercy for my father. God, let no one have mercy on him. He didn’t think about the family that my father had, so why should anyone have concern for his family?! I want no mercy for him or his family God…none!
- Let the Lord thus repay my accusers, all those who speak evil against me.
People close and distant to us accused my father of horrid actions, and subscribed his paralysis to a punishment for childish mistakes that he made decades ago. A part of me wants to ask that You “forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing,” but I’m not Jesus, and I’m still pleading for my forgiving heart. I don’t know what their repayment should be, but I ask that it at least equal the pain and isolation they caused my father, so that they’ll remember the evil they spoke against him and the emptiness they caused.
- My knees give way from fasting; my flesh is lean, from lack of fat.
Lord, we have struggled as a family for two years now, trying to renew my dad’s spirits and open his eyes to the beauties that still reside in life. I’m so tired from praying for strength and guidance. I’m so worn from the emotional rollercoaster and constant stresses. His health, his mental stability, suicide watches, medications, healthcare bills, my younger siblings, my mom, his siblings, his good days, his bad days, his tears…the absence of a suspect! My knees give way from fasting…..my flesh is lean, from lack of fat…
- Help me, O Lord, my God; save me in accord with Your faithfulness,
God…I need help. I need strength. I need saving. I need answers. It’s only by You that I can be saved from this abyss of despair and hell, but God I need You to come down and see my situation from my vantage point. I need You to remove this burden of anger from me. I want to forgive him. I want to love him. I want to walk in the footsteps of Your son and live a life that is pleasing to You, but my emotional despair is holding me back. Your faithfulness and love overcome all of this, and I am in desperate need of them.
- So that men may know that it is Your hand, that You, O Lord, have done it.
God if only he was found, then everyone would know that You found him! If only he was finally convicted and my father got justice! God if You helped me in this way, everyone would know that it was only possible because of You! Even if we don’t find him, if You could give my father back his ability to walk and live a normal life again. God I would exchange anything for that. You wouldn’t even have to save me, just save my dad because he is on the edge of defeat every, single day. If You save him, You’ve saved me and I would be ever so grateful. Please save us so that the world will know it was You. Please, Jesus, please…
- My mouth shall sing much praise to the Lord; I will acclaim Him in the midst of a throng,
- because He stands at the right hand of the needy, to save him from those who would condemn him.
“It’s the moment when humanity is overcome by majesty, when grace is ushered in for good and all our scars are understood. When mercy takes it’s rightful place and all these questions fade away. When out of weakness we must bow and hear You say ‘It’s over now.’ I’m alive, even though a part of me has died. You take this heart and breathe it back to life. I fall into Your arms open wide, where the hurt and the healer collide.” -MercyMe
Every day of the immediate months following my dad’s accident, You had this song playing for me every time I got in my car. You pulled us through the anguished, desperate, and near-death moments. There were few answers, and there were even fewer rays of hope, but You never allowed me to turn a blind eye to Your goodness, Your mercy, and the protection offered by Your right hand. You allowed Your majesty to enter into our weakest moments of humanity. We still have scars, but Your grace has been ushered in and is restoring us. We sing Your praises because You saved us, You saved my dad, from those who condemned him, from the man who left him for dead, from the failings of his body, from the desire to end his life, from the moments of doubt and self-defeat. You are great and greatly to be praised. Now unto You that is able to guard me from stumbling, and to set me before the presence of Your glory without blemish in exceeding joy, to the only God my Savior, through Jesus Christ my Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and power, before all time, and now, and for evermore. Amen.
This entire response was the hardest thing I have ever had to write because it forced me to confront the feelings that I’ve buried deep inside of myself for two years. In a way, I was forced to take a step back from what “good religion” says to be able to fully relate to my situation and to God. I was forced to see that many of my prayers for my dad’s suspect were empty and insincere because they were merely out of Christian formality. At the same time, I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to explore my own voice in this psalm because I feel 1000 times closer to God, and can see more of His glory in my father’s ordeal than ever before. I feel that I can better relate to God, especially on a more personal, intimate, and relational level, which is what my faith tries to accomplish but from a distant.