Thursday, February 12, 2009

Psalm 42

[this is more of an exercise than a poem. I'm trying to pray through the psalms, here the first piece I've written from this. tell me what you think]

As the deer pants for the water
so my soul yearns after you

I remember hearing a sermon on that passage when I was in middle school. The preacher was explaining the word yearn; how in Hebrew, that word had a slightly sexual tone to it. Well, I was 13, that passage really connected with me.

These things I remember
and I pour out my soul within me
For I used to go along with the congregation
and lead them up to the house of God

It wasn't that long ago, was it? When I would stay up late, with a crayon in my hand marking up the New Testament. When I would raise up my hands in church. When I could open my bible and forget my doubts. When this world didn't seem chaotic and utterly confusing. When I sat and waited in expectation for God to show up. It wasn't that long ago, was it?

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
and why are you disturbed within me?
Hope in God, For I shall again praise Him
For the help of his presence

I have these inner dialogues. Debates with myself. My emotions have always been headstrong. It's no more use telling them to calm down than telling the storm to calm down. I try and choke them down. Remind myself of promises I have a hard time believing and stories that I feel completely removed from.
I remember a story where His friends were all on a boat, a storm was raging all around them. They were freaked out. He was asleep in the back. They woke Him up, and He told the storm to shut up.
I wish I could just wake Him up.

Deep calls to deep
at the sound of your waterfalls
All your breakers and waves
have rolled over me

You've soaked me to the bone. There's no drying out. I'm wrecked, shivering and waiting.

I will say to God my rock
Why have you forgotten me?

I don't get it. I pray and pray and pray. And He stands aloof, unseen and distant. Am I speaking the wrong language? Am I too quiet? If I stood on a mountain and shouted could He hear me better?
No. My God hears me, but I don't hear Him.

Why are you in despair, O my Soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him

I don't think these debates are going to end any time soon. But I'll remember the God who saves. The God who spoke to me with a crayon in my hand, with my hands held high. I will remember Him, and hope--because I know He is faithful.

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