Reflections by Jerry Webber

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Praying with Psalm 137: Reflections in a Foreign Land

A few weeks ago, I found myself in touch with the dark and angry spirit of Psalm 137. I was surprised at what came out of me . . . and grateful for the honesty with which I could offer my real life in prayer.

Psalm 137 Psalm-Prayer
praying from a foreign land

I sat in a foreign land and wept
among those of strange tongue
among those who hated me
among those who wanted me gone
I remembered You
remembered the thought of You

My songs and instruments
hung in a closet
stored away
no longer needed or useful
I was
who they said
I was

No longer was there dialogue
now there was one way
their way
the tone of taunt in every exchange
“Why can’t you sing your song?
We’ll play the music . . .
you just sing along.”

The song You’ve given buried deep
I don’t want to sing their song
I’ll do anything to keep from singing
a pseudo-song

God, don’t ever let me be too far away
to forget Your song
burn it upon my heart
weave it into my soul

And for them, these pretenders
who take their delight in my despair
who have won the struggle
to steer the ship
who said,
“Damn you! Damn you!”

Oh, the warrior in me wants to fight to the death,
to take them down
and stand over their plot
And the diplomat in me wants to run far
to get out of their sight
and reach
and make a new life somewhere else
And the poet in me – at this moment –
just wants to sing my song
to spill out the verse from within
no vengeance or vindication
just song

so that the cycle stops
and all the little ones

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