Written by Robert Ochoa
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?” Psalm 22:1 (NRSV)
On my way to another vigil to honor and remember our Latin@x GLBTQ martyrs murdered at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL; raw, exhausted by the anger and tears….I hear the words “Crashing hitting a wall, I need a miracle”* from my car radio and as I recognize the song, it continues “stranded reaching out I call your name but you’re not around”…
Then I turn the volume up as the singer begins to belt out “I need you I need you I need you right now”. And the song takes me back to my sacred spaces of my Queer youth…lights, music, laughter, and dance…then as if the singer is reading my mind she sings “I think I’m losing my mind now, it’s in my head, darling I hope that you will be here when I need you the most”; I lose it…I blast my radio for the world to hear as I began to sing, dance and drive…drive, dance and sing…with anguished tears…I’m pleading…singing and asking our God…”You were there God with them…right?”…”when they needed You the most, You were there for them God, right?”…these 50 beautiful people cut down in their youth…who should be dancing with this aging Gay Chicano pastor, but they can no longer. So I danced for them and for me in my car to another vigil…to perform my priestly duties of offering prayers of lament, hope and faith for healing para nuestra comunidad injured and shocked to the core.
Like the psalmist, we sometimes feel forsaken when evil happens to us, to our loved ones, to our communities, to our world; even Jesus uttered those words at the cross (Matt 27:46, Mark 15:34)…and it’s hard to imagine a resurrection during a crucifixion, when all we can do is feel the pain…and nothing else. So we cry out to God…and that is good…with our anguish singing, and dancing…we call on God…for we have Hope…and Faith…and Love that God will be there when we need God the most.
Prayer: Don’t let us down God…we need you, we need you, we need you…right now. Amen.
*”Down Let Us Down” – Chainsmokers - Songwriters: Andrew Taggart, Scott Harris, Emily Schwartz © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC