I haven’t had the time to link up with Stephanie Spencer and her Psalms Journey lately, but was reading Psalm 78 (the Psalm for this week) today and was inspired to write my own sort of Psalm-y history. I have said this before, but I am not a poet. Real poets, I’m not trying to be you. This is just a prosey sort of poetic response to thinking on what I could share with younger generations (and this generation) about God’s pursuit of me. And don’t forget to check out Everyday Awe for more reflections on this Psalm!
A Psalm-y History of Me, pt 1
You sought me: the girl who chose a church
based on cookies in Sunday School.
Who later hid in the library reading books
on mummies so I could miss the sermon.
Sundays were the days loneliness crept in,
followed closely by that hound, guilt.
I did not know yet what I had done or left undone
or how to make amends for that invisible weight.
Church began to feel like prison. I was behind bars
of the hymns resonating from the pipe organ.
At night I watched the shadows on my ceiling
and prayed for a sign. Was that a flash of heavenly light
or just a passing car on the road?
You sought me through a persistent friend
and a man who spoke with sureity a word I never heard
in church: relationship. I came closer to see,
a moth and a flame.
Yet when I touched it, I was not consumed.
Rather, the light flamed into me, burning
from the inside out. The oil of its burning
bound up in one name: Jesus.
I burned, carrying a Bible in my backpack
my freshman year, just in case.
But as sometimes happens, I left open a window,
maybe two, just in case. Winds blew in,
flickering the flame, carried in that word
relationship—this time, with boys.
You don’t need church; it’s about relationship,
he said. And while these words are (somewhat) true,
they were more truth, twisted. He twisted
and spun me around blindfolded until I did not know
the way back to the light. It was all dark to me.
You sought me and you found me
through a conversation so brave it had to be
by candlelight. Kind ears listened and kind mouths
spoke hard truths from that Bible,
long dusty on my shelf. The darkness
flamed with light and I once more could see
that persistent love: Jesus.