When illness meets denial and rejection,
when friends recoil, and faces turn to stone,
Christ of our Sorrows, raise us from dejection,
to travel on, assailed but not alone.
Forgive your Church's searing, numbing silence,
unholy huddles, muddles and delays.
Forgive our zeal to hide the fear that drives us
with harsh, unloving words, unhealing ways.
Help us resist, refuse all vengeful naming
of lepers, plagues, and punishment for sin,
with love's determined power to banish blaming,
shed light and truth, and heal the hurt within.
Show us our hidden strength and human limits.
Free us from guilt, self-hatred and despair,
to celebrate, as flesh-embodied spirits,
our body's beauty, and our Maker's care.
Give us, amid our passion and persistence,
the peace that wishful thinking cannot fake.
Link us in loving circles of resistance,
with love of life that death can never break.
Through summer joys, and winters of dejection,
help us, by faith, to travel, weep and sing,
with hearts that reap the fruit of resurrection,
and hands that bear the loving touch of spring.