Psalm 61

Who are You, God?
A person who answers my prayers?
A rock?
A refuge?
A tower?
A tent?
A winged creature?
My benefactor?
Yhwh, the great I Am Who I AM?
I pray but I’m not sure Who it is I pray to
Someday one image speaks to me, someday another
Someday none
The old images, the old words
I cry out, my heart grows faint
I don’t ask to be queen, to be enthroned forever
But I do ask for peace
I turn to You to heal me of my dissatisfactions with myself
Can a rock, a tower, a tent, a winged creature heal me?
I need a Person who will love me faithfully
Of that Person I will sing forever
That Person I will love forever
Or at least as long as She gives me the power to love and sing.

Psalm 62

The story of my life: contradictions and ephemeral certainties
I call on God as if She existed
I put my life in Her hands, proclaim Her my only certainty
I believe, I believe in the Almighty
Who can rule my unruly heart as completely as the ordered cosmos
But but but
Time and again I feel besieged, lost, bewildered
Resentful, deserted, unsure, foolish, alone
Worthless, defeated, deceived, deadened
Are my tears maudlin or spirit-filled
Is my heart naïve or uplifted
How I wish God would grant me continuing certainty
Here is where I want to live: where I can say every day
My soul finds rest in God, my hope arises from God
God is my rock, my salvation, my fortress, my sure bet, my certainty
I will not be shaken
I know the truth and the truth is God
God is my trustworthy refuge, always
Why can’t I hold onto it? Why do I envy just about everyone
Why does my heart turn again and again to the worthless things
To the dark things, to the trivial, to the vain, to the small and mean
And to top it all off, I can’t even get past the basic contradiction that is God
This God in whom I choose to believe even though I am uncertain of Her existence
Sometimes, when I turn to God, I know Her power and love, Her ability and willingness to keep me in Her peace
And sometimes when I turn to God, I fear Her judgment; I fear that I can never be what She want, what She deserves. Aw, hell. Amen.

Psalm 63

“Oh God, you are my God, I see you, my soul thirsts for you”
Can’t say better than that
Water, water again, the water of eternal life, of no more thirst
The water that causes life to flower
The water of love that is better than life, better than a parched, dry life
In what sanctuary do I find water? Where do I go?
When I lift my hands and one leg in the tree asana?
When I sing hymns in church?
When I sit in bed, early in the morning, playing with the psalms?
Everywhere and anywhere, of course
Here is laughter, here is joy, here is security
Not just water but a rich feast of comfort and security
Morning, noon and night
In waking, working hours, in dark, quiet hours
Always You, God, are my help and in Your shadow is light
And truth and water and feast – joy upon joy
A flood of trouble cannot drown me because You hold onto me
Ha, ha – I laugh the laugh of scorn at troubles, doubts, all the terrible Ds
They are doomed
I am saved. Enough already. Amen.

Psalm 64

Hear my voice, O God, raised again in complaint
I know I whine – forgive me but hear me & help me
Keep my peace, conquer my worries
Help me to live in goodness not wickedness
Help me to give love not hate
Help me to be tender not biting
Help me to be joyful not bitter
Don’t let me be overtaken, overpowered by envy
Don’t let me be ensnared by jealousy or worry
Keep me from hopelessness
Keep me from pride
Keep me from deviousness
Destroy those destroyers of my peace, Oh God
Ruin them, run them out, reverse their plans
And then, and then, lend me Your righteousness
That I can rejoice in You, take refuge in You
Remain steadfast and upright in glorifying You. Amen.

Psalm 65

God, most high and excellent Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer
Wisdom Woman
God, today I come to You in joy and gladness
With promises of faithfulness
With gratitude for answered prayer
I come to You as we all come, whether we know it or not
When life overwhelms me
When my own treacherousness betrays my happiness
When I can’t forgive myself
Laughing and happy, I come with Your great cloud of witnesses
I come because there is nowhere better
I come because with You, in Your goodness and righteousness
Is where I find peace
Because You, in Your mighty righteousness, You have saved me
Delivered me
Given me hope
Just as You created the mountains
Just as You silenced the stormy seas
Just as You have given Your creatures peace and salvation
You created me, You quieted my fears, You give me peace
Wherever I am, I can see Your glory and Your joy in Your creation
In the beauty of sunrise and sunset
In water: rain and rivers, oceans and snow, streams and mists
In the earth: furrows and ridges, pastures and hills, meadows and valleys
With Your good creation, I will shout and sing for the joy of knowing You.