I used to think that this psalm was so very first personal singular, but it’s not. It is a psalm of how we are knit together.
I planned to reflect on psalm 139
because it is my birthday
and I am so aware
you formed my inward iowa parts
of minnesota norwegian
and tennesee hillbilly,
and you knew me in Liz,
the only child she brought to term.
I was woven of blond hair,
poor eyesight and the alcoholism,
a passion for swimming,
dogs and chocolate,
the one smaller lung,
the pollyanna thing that irritates
so many of my friends.
And in your book was written
how I would love books,
reading and writing
and hiding in them,
when others want me to party.
It is, after all the psalm I read aloud
when I bury someone
who dies by suicide,
(I tried that once, too, long ago)
because I know – love it or hate it –
there is just no place
your Spirit cannot find us.
But all of that doesn’t sing the psalm
the way I need
to hear its music today
for the opera singers and the students,
for the babies and the pilots –
that no one can ever take
the Germanwings of the morning
and fly beyond
your gentle gathering love
that walks the mountains in the bodies
of rescue workers,
for you make
of even this darkness, a light,
and count these your fallen children,
every one of them,
come to this sad end
saying – I am still with you.