Lieder der Hutterischen Brüder, 31
See Lord how weak I am? I am shocked at myself and could die of sorrow! In fact, I would die of sorrow, and my distress would grow until lost in the pains of hell, were it not for the knowledge of your grace. But I wonder, why have you hidden yourself from me?
Your Word speaks much of comfort, Lord. That I cannot deny, but my heart threatens to kill me for anxiety.
Oh Lord, not comfort but anguish of soul is mine! Tell me Lord the meaning of my great affliction and dryness.
If to kill me is your plan, I give myself up to it. That is for you to decide, I know. But even then, how I would love enlightenment from your Word as to why! Why, if I have commended myself to your mercy, would you treat me like this?
Lord, my protection, you are everywhere! That I have experienced. But what calamities befall me in this valley of grief, when you leave me on my own! All I can do is weep, and in the pit of my anguish I wonder, “What am I doing here?”
Had someone told me earlier how things might go I would have gasped and drawn back in astonishment. Yet now I am discovering it myself, and am deeply cast down for how you have abandoned me. How the people laugh and make fun! But I cry to you with everything inside me, “When will you come to the rescue? When will you come to lift me from this valley of grief and put out these burning coals?”
Lord have mercy! Do not hold my complaints against me! Forgive me Lord! I know and tell others that you will not strike me off forever. I trust in you and place no stock in myself. Only this Lord: Please, come quickly!
Ludwig Haetzer, ca. 1500-1529, Bischofszell, Thurgau, Switzerland
Converted young, Ludwig became a gifted leader among the first Anabaptists. A scholar and writer, he got into trouble but repented. Arrested after that, he was publicly beheaded at Konstanz on the Bodensee.