Lenten reflection on scripture — Psalm 139

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.

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10 Responses to Lenten reflection on scripture — Psalm 139

  1. sugruerm says:

    May the God of births and days, the God who weaves and knits and hems, continue to clothe you with cloth that warms others.

  2. dabar96 says:

    Yes! “I come to the end; I am still with you.”

  3. Pam Spain says:

    Happy Birthday, Maren! It is my favorite psalm! My heart breaks for the struggles you have had but you have certainly made sweet lemonade out of those lemons. We all drink deeply of your offering every day! Grace and peace to you and may this day be special!

  4. Jan Fairchildq says:

    Happy Birthday Blessings, Maren! JOY :). I am very thankful for your life. Your gifts are awesome.

  5. rezrevres says:

    The 139 Psalm played a big part in saving my life many years ago, and was the reading my wife and I both loved and chose for our wedding. Perhaps a bit unusual, but so are we. I’m so pleased you’ve brought your poets touch to it, Maren, in rhymes and schemes that certainly resonate with me. Miigwech & zhawendaagozi. I sincerely hope that your natal-day brings you the same level of pleasure that your writing has brought to all the rest of us. Happy Birthday fellow seeker.

  6. Andrea (aka rokinrev) says:

    Very Happy Birthday Maren

  7. Bernadette Swanson says:

    “You knit me together in my mother’s womb” is my favorite verse in my favorite Psalm. Happy birthday, Maren. Thank you for sharing your verses. They touch our hearts.

  8. Dee Ledger says:

    Blessed birthday, Maren. Indeed.

  9. Gail says:

    Happy BIrthday, Maren. Many more Blessed Birthdays to you.

  10. P. J. Stokes says:

    This is amazing, Maren. Very moving. Thank you for these insights. Penny

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