This verse from psalm 39 will resonate with all of us in the midst of the covid crisis, and so perhaps will those verses about our mortality and the frailty of things in this world, verses calling us to set our hope more firmly on God:
‘Behold, thou hast made my days as it were a span long: and mine age is even as nothing in respect of thee; and verily every man living is altogether vanity.
For man walketh in a vain shadow, and disquieteth himself in vain: he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.
And now, Lord, what is my hope: truly my hope is even in thee.’
For a Christian of course that hope is rooted in Christ, in his death and resurrection. This was all in my mind as I composed my poem in response to psalm 39, but so were those lines of Leonard Cohen’s, that it is just when you begin to perceive the ‘crack in everything’ that you also perceive that that is ‘how the light gets in’!
This present plague has prompted me, like many, to reflect that we must not return, afterwards, to our old ways, but must take this kairos moment as an opportunity to strengthen the things that remain and renew our true hope in Christ
As usual you can hear me read the poem by pressing the ‘play’ button if it appears, or else by clicking on the title. For the other poems in my psalm series type the word ‘psalm’ into the search box on the right.
Deliver me and raise me from the dead
For I have walked in shadows. Nothingness,
The vanity of things fills me with dread,
The sheer inanity, the pointlessness
Of how we used to live – we can’t go back
To that – the rush that masked our emptiness,
All the pretence that covered what we lack
When what we really lacked was always you.
I held my tongue, but I could see the crack
In everything we build and say and do.
And now the crack is widening. I pray
That we will turn and see a light break through
These fissures that so fill us with dismay.
The death we fear is birth, the shell is breaking:
The stone itself will soon be rolled away.
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