Wednesday, October 24, 2007

a psalm of praise

so i've been leading this bible study on tuesday nights on the psalms, which i have really enjoyed so far, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is simply reacquainting myself with some of the amazing poetry of the bible. when we really take a look at it - really listen to the words, really dig to understand some of the ancient imagery and cultural references - we find such beautiful testimony to the human experience of God. it is inspiring, in that it puts Spirit in me. so, feeling inspired, i took a stab at writing my own psalm. its a psalm of praise, but a more personal (first person) psalm, like psalm 23 (the lord is my shepherd, i shall not want) than communal. still, you may find something in there to identify with. i tried to connect it with a common policy of the biblical poets: to remember creation as a method for offering praise to God.

a psalm of praise to the creating God
the very core of my soul sings out to the LORD:
praise! praise! praise!
o Maker of is and are,
you reside. everywhere. even in chaos
you stand by.
when i am stress-stifled
you hover all about me;
you are a cloud of calm that eases me.
when i am drowning in darkness of my own design,
you devise a dawn;
you are the breaking light that shatters my fear.
when i am sinking in sudden waters,
you separate the suffocating sea;
you are the ground that holds me up.
when i am salt-stung, choking on my own tears,
you provide sweet taste, flavor all around me;
you are the banquet of blessing that nourishes me.
when i am crushed by this black hole lonliness,
you light up the night sky with rays of hope;
you are the heavenly host that sings to me.
when i forget the depth that you are,
you pull back the curtain of the sea;
you are every kind of pulsing Life that reminds me.
when i am deadened by my own numbness,
you breathe life into these dusty bones;
you are the Spirit that moves me.
when i am too tired to rest,
you pause to play;
you are the sleep that sustains me.
o Creator of being and doing,
you are. Even now
you make everything good.
the very core of my soul sings out to the LORD:
praise! praise! praise!


Redbank Billy said...

Not bad, but I am stuck on that phrase "of is and are" very interesting though

greg. said...

thanks for being my one comment, billy.

i was wondering if people would get hung up on that verbage early in the poem. what i was trying to say is that god is the god of all that 'is' and of all the things that 'are,' but i wanted to say it in a way slightly different from how you would expect it to purposefully catch you off guard and make you consider it. but maybe it is too awkward. if i had used the quotes it would have helped, but in general i am annoyed by punctuation, so i avoid it when possible. maybe i should fix it...

mary said...

i think its better than "not bad"

i loved the flow of it...and personally i appreciated your beginning verbage. its catches starts the brain cells thinking and comtemplating. i could really relate to the poem and found it very moving.

no fixing required. you don't need to defend your creativity.

Julid said...

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,
Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,
For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:3-5

Thanks, Greg. Well done.
Juli D

Redbank Billy said...

do not fix it, i was just commenting on the usage, I liked it all in all and as usual I had to bust your chops.

greg. said...

relax people. i wasn't offended by billy's remark. i took it as verification of what i thought when i originally scratched the words into my journal: its an awkward statement.

when you write knowing that someone else is going to read it, and you are specifically trying to write in a way that is expressive and illuminating, meaningful and inspiring, you think about these things. if you were to look in my journal you would see so many scratch marks where i have started with one word and then changed it and then changed it back and then ended up with something completely different. that's just how it works. i change stuff all the time. words are feeble tools that i am using to try and say what i want in a way that makes sense and inspires. it doesn't always work. but i keep trying. hearing back from people about what you like/don't like or understand/don't understand is really helpful. so, thank you all.

i am just saying i am not this like sensitive guy over here who is refusing to allow you to say anything constructive or negative about anything that i write. quite the contrary: i welcome it! i need it!

is and are,

Mary said...

i like drama. especially through blog postings. i always find it the most meaningful and effective form of drama. give me more drama. i will be its star.

i was going to call you just now...but i don't want you to yell at me for being a conflicter on here. call you in a month...

greg. said...

mary, i have no freaking idea what you are talking about. can i yell at you for not calling me?