Bathsheba’s Song

Bathsheba ©MicahHayns

From 2 Samuel 11

Guest Blog by Milly Sinclair, training consultant…and my sister!

How long, how long will we sing this song
How long…

Raped Bathsheba
Given a name
But no voice
Just another
Naked beauty
A footnote in a
Famous man’s story

Boy David
Turned Goliath
Powerful man king
Snatching at flesh
That wasn’t his
To take

And Oh, oh, oh
she had no stone to fell him

The fame of
David’s name.
His lust known
His rape
His murder:
‘You are the man… yes you are the man.’
His lavish atonement
His grief
His poetry
His lineage
Writ large for perpetuity

You share the blame
Of his shame
Your child taken.

How wild was David’s grief
How deep and wide David’s repentance…
‘wash me as white as snow’

Bathsheba’s cries unheard
Bathsheba’s grief unwritten
Bathsheba’s rape unredeemed
Bathsheba’s stain unwashed
Wife of a murdered husband
Mother of a stolen child
Forced to drink
Again… and again…
The bitter cup

All the women,
Yes, all the women
Whose bodies are used
As weapons of war,
All the footnotes
In powerful men’s story,
All that share the blame
Of man’s shame.
All the nameless,
The blameless
The wordless
Raped women
Line up… line up
Fill our ears with your voice.
Bathsheba’s story is your story
We hear you.

How long, how long will
We sing this song
How long….

Broken, naked woman
Broken, naked, man
Redeem us.

It is Mothering Sunday in the UK tomorrow, a day that is full of joy for some and sorrow for others. This year will be particularly difficult for all those who can’t be with their mothers. And so let us pray for women who are mothers, for our own mothers, for those who long to be a mother, and for all those who have a ‘mothering’ role in caring for children and young people.

Lord, we pray for the women of our world
the mothers of all nations.
May those who suffer violence be given strength to survive.
May those who suffer poverty and distress be given hope and aid.
May those who suffer pain and fear be given relief and courage.
May those who are homeless be given shelter and protection.
Lord guide those who have, that they may give
with love and compassion to those who have not.
A prayer from Pida Ripley, London

Author: clarehayns

College Chaplain and Welfare Coordinator of Christ Church, Oxford | Mum of three boys | wife of a juggler and magician | Council of Reference of ZANE - | enjoys board games, dog walking, films, eating out.

6 thoughts on “Bathsheba’s Song”

  1. That was so powerful. Beautifully written and will speak to a lot of women. Thank you also for recognising that Mothering Sunday can be a difficult day for so many.
    Thank you for turning a spotlight on women that are often a passing note in history.
    I hope this blog will be turned into a book.


    1. Thanks Barbara. Milly will be pleased to hear this, and I’m glad you’re enjoying it. Yes, I’d love it to be a book – just need to work out how to go about that!


  2. This is a very powerful poem, and sadly. still very relevant today where rape is considered to be normal in war and is still very under reported. It makes me feel sick! Thanks to all of you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: