Dear Pastor’s Wife: The Cry He Doesn’t Forget

We walk everyday in our neighborhood, most times with our two dogs in tow. It’s a great way to meet people- the dogs break the ice- and we enjoy impromptu conversations with fellow dog walkers while our dogs unceremoniously check each other out.

A few days ago, we were rounding a corner, and a scream filled the air. A few seconds later, it happened again. An angry voice shouting, a scream in reply. It was heart wrenching, and a trigger for me from past trauma. I cried instantly, feeling the weight of something being very wrong, but not really knowing fully what we had heard. We kept walking. I prayed for the family, asked God to perhaps let us be a light, a balm to them in the future.

The next morning that incident and many other situations of affliction around me were on my heart as I read and prayed through my first Psalm of the day- Psalm 9. The end of verse 12 stopped me in my tracks:

“He does not forget the cry of the humble {afflicted.}

I read it again: He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

What a timely phrase to meditate on. This goes far beyond just hearing the cry of the afflicted. When someone hears, we feel an instant sense of understanding and hope. Maybe they will do something on my behalf.

But when someone promises not to forget? Now, this is concrete. This is synonymous with hope.

Our God has promised not to forget the cry of the afflicted. He is a righteous Judge, and He intends to do something about the affliction he remembers.

It can feel like the righteous Judge isn’t judging at all, isn’t even hearing when we cry for this trial to relax, or to somehow end. It can feel like blow after blow fades into the distance with time, leaving no trace of remembrance or restoration. Leaving no “I’m sorry” or any kind of restitution for wrongs committed.

But those feelings are not truth. This is truth: He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.

Affliction comes in so many forms- I could never list them all and I won’t try. I only want to remind you today that, in your trial that seems like it will never end, or in your ongoing pain from a wrong committed against you years ago, or in your advocating cry on behalf of the affliction of another- you are heard and your affliction is not forgotten.

I remember days when I would whisper to my husband something like this, “Will it matter? In the end of time, when all things are made right, will it matter that we suffered this? Will He remember the nuances of what happened, the times it felt like we laid down our lives for the church, the times we didn’t defend ourselves in the face of harsh criticism? Will even the little things be remembered and made right? Are those things even important enough for Him to apply His righteous judgement to?”

(Lover of justice here.)

But so is our wonderful Father. My sense of justice can’t hold a candle to His righteous judgement. He will leave nothing undone. We will know that He has kept His Word, and we’ll be satisfied with the verdict.

Because He has promised….He will not forget the cry of the afflicted.

I don’t know what affliction you are facing today, whether ministry or personal…or both, since they are both all balled up together much of the time! But I just wanted to remind you (again) that your sovereign God not only hears your cry, but He doesn’t forget it.

He knows YOUR voice, YOUR cry- just like you know your own child’s cry, your own loved one’s voice. Believe this, and be comforted today.


A Kindred Spirit