My Daughter, My Beloved

The following poem is dedicated to the girl at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, South Carolina who was recently placed in foster care and then experienced a brutal assault at school by a police officer.

My Daughter, My Beloved

I had to go away for a while,
My Daughter, my Beloved –
To make a suitable home for you,
A place without sorrow or guile.

I did not leave you orphaned, though;
I sent my Spirit forth.

He scoured the pews of churches,
He climbed the stairs of steeples,
He hovered over the words of praise,
The devotion of my pupils…

And searched them for Ezekiels who
Would breathe the breath of life
Into your valley, full of bones,
To say, “Arise and live!”

He searched them for the watchmen who
Would clothe and shelter you from
Violent men who came your way
To break and smother you.

My Daughter, my Beloved,
How grieved I am to find
That they instead have buried you under
A heap of condemnation.

They have stripped you of your innocence,
They have robbed you of your youth.
They have multiplied your sorrow
They have crucified the truth.

Jesus Holding Child Hand

Drawing by Lori Mingo

My Daughter, my Beloved,
They did the same to me.
Damned me with self-righteous scorn,
A criminal they called me.

Their accusations fell upon
My beaten, bloodied head.
They stripped me of my dignity,
Then nailed me to a tree.

But by my stripes I’ll heal you, child,
My Daughter, my Beloved.
I will come to you myself
To redeem, restore, reclaim you.

Categories: Church/Ecclesiology, Culture/Social issues, Poetry, Race/Ethnicity


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