Psalm One

Who will find me worthy, if not You?

Who will touch my scars with a tender hand?
Who will see, underneath all my dressings,
what I attempted, lost, gained, and left unfinished –
and, despite the many ways I fell short,
still see me through to the end?

And who, from stillness, will say:
It was My holy breath that flowed through her life
if not You?

I cannot help but look behind me –

At the dark chasms I fell down, and then scrambled up
knees and knuckles scratched and scabbed,
frightened, but determined.

At the long dry road I walked on, uncertain of my way,
trudging, footsore, angry to feel so lost,
lonely, but willing.

At the monsters that rose up, screeching,
as I cowered, and then peeked out,
and then searched their hideous faces,
and then at last recognized them for who they were,
and finally mustered sufficient courage,
and chose to take a divergent route,
even as their shrieks echoed in my ears.

And all this time – were You there?
Were You with me in the dark chasms?
Were You with me on the long dry road?
Were You there in the monster-filled rooms?

Was it You who sent me careening into danger?

Or was it You who bestowed upon me
that determination
that willingness
that courage –
benefactions I exercised, again and again,
in order to meet my life, just as it was?

Has it been You all along?
You whose name I did not know?
Was it You who fired me up, and girded me, and gentled me
through all these trials?

I cannot help but look before me –

With these aging eyes,
retinas imprinted with afterimages of breakage and bleeding
and the hollows of waiting for what never came.
With one ear that listens more keenly than two ever did.
With this older heart,
softened with hard-won wisdoms.

I cannot help but ask You who never tires of my questions –
Will I have loved enough?
Will I have released what remains undone?
Have I sanctified the life You gave me?

And I cannot help but whisper, so only You can hear:

If my song of praise is worthy,
it is Your holy breath that gives me voice.

Published In:

RitualWell, January 2021