Friday, May 29, 2009

Psalm for today

For the last few weeks in Zac's we've been looking at the story of David. Giant-slayer, song-writer, adulterer, murderer, great king - although we've not got to the adultery bit yet. Although I know the story roughly it's been good to be reminded of the details.

Peter is my favourite New Testament character because he regularly makes a mess of things; I think David is about to become my Old Testament equivalent. I've always loved his psalms because he doesn't mess about: he tells it like it is. If he's feeling miserable or hard-done-by then everybody's going to know about it. Similarly if he's messed up, he's equally honest about his feelings. Sean reckons the psalms are blues songs of their day.

The day after we'd read about David seeking sanctuary in a temple and we'd talked about safe places, I wrote my own psalm, largely in my head while in my safe place.

When, o God, when will I learn?
How many times must I be taught this lesson?
How much pain must I inflict before
I can recognise and pre-empt my folly with wisdom?
Is the asking foolishness in itself?
My sin I can identify; I am aware; I know its ploys, its snares. And yet
I return again and again
to the place where you find me,
ashamed and sorrowed,
regretful and frustrated,
angry and tired,
worn out
of me.
Knotted, taut, and tightly bound
by wires of self-pity
and misery.

And then you say my name.

And I flee to the sanctuary
where you are.
Where the gap between here and there is thinnest;
where I can reach out and trace
the contours of your face with my finger-tips, feel your breath on my face.
Where I am washed by Atlantic rain and the
searing fire of your heart’s love.
Where I can lean into the wind knowing my dreams will be supported.
Where I am still me but you are you and will be.
Where there’s no miracle but hope and a promise
of unfailing love.

And I shout
with all my heart
and with all my voice
God is good.
God is good.
God is good.