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For the Tortured: Good Friday is Every Day





God, equally present in darkness as in light,

For so many, Good Friday is observed a single day each year.

But for the lucky ones,

Those who have survived their torture,

Good Friday is every day.


It is a permanent remembrance,

Melded into their very being, becoming one with them.


Torture’s ghost incessantly assures them

That what they have experienced cannot be forgotten.


The brutal beatings and gang rapes,

The waterboarding and electric shock,

The humiliations and solitary confinement,

And the ominous threats to family members and colleagues

Are but a taste of the survivor’s experience.


In time, others reassure them, the physical pains of torture will fade,

Broken bones will mend, and gaping wounds will heal.


Still the sins of inhumanity linger,

Etched in the souls of the tortured, as enduring as a beating heart.


God, equally present in darkness as in light,

Women, men, and children from countries around the world continue to be forced

To join the descendants of Jesus hanging on the cross.


Stand by them.

Gently, dry the tears of those who weep in anguish and solitude.


Whisper words of comfort to those who remain

Haunted by the memories of their experience.


Infuse them with a budding, daring hope

That can repair the shattered trust in the human family.


Resurrect courage within all survivors

To reclaim their right to life with grace, hope, and love.


God, equally present in darkness as in light,

Inspire the tortured, agents of torture, and the non-tortured

To embrace the words of the Holocaust historian, Yahuda Bauer,

“Thou shalt not be a victim;

Thou shalt not be a perpetrator;

And above all, thou shalt not be a bystander.” Amen.






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