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Never Too Late for Tears: David's Lament for Absalom
Delivered at the Church of the Advocate in Philadelphia. Look for the full text after the excerpt: Absalom, David's son, who avenged his sister Tamar by killing the man who raped her and named his own daughter after her so that her name would live on even if she never married and had children of her own, Absalom became his father's son in every way and raped David's wives and womenfolk whom he had left behind in his hurry to run away from Jerusalem and save his own skin. And fulfilling the words of God to David through the prophet Nathan: David raped Bathsheba in secret; Absalom raped David's women in broad daylight. He put a tent up on the roof of the palace so that every one in Israel would know that he was taking everything that had been his father's. And David didn't shed a tear. ...it was too late for David to begin acting like a father now that his son Absalom was dead, killed under the authority of David's own nephew. It was too late to teach his sons that a real man doesn't rape. It was too late for David to have a different, protective, relationship with the women in his life. It was too late for David to do justice for his ravaged daughter Tamar. It was too late for David to take his daughter's broken body in his arms and say I'm sorry, baby. This should have never happened to you. This was not your fault. I will love you for the rest of your life no matter what. It was too late for David to tell his son, Absalom, that's not the way son; I won't let you kill your own brother, no matter what he's done. It was too late for David to set limits for his son Amnon: No you can't have anything you want. You will not lay a hand against her will, and most definitely not on any woman in my house. You don't do that with (or to) your sister. It was too late for David to change any of these things. But it was not too late for tears. So David wept.
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