Exodus 15:20-21(often considered to be archeologically the oldest words in the Bible)
My friend writes a poem about Miriam
and how she danced and sang
and played her tambourine,
as the Hebrew slaves made their escape –
hardly believing it possible –
across the parted Red Sea.
And I know she was exhausted,
and I wonder why
she didn’t drop the tambourine
on the long run from Egypt,
or throw it away as extra baggage.
There would be no need for joy
and an extra hand would be useful for,
For all of us who are family or friend
of someone who is at risk of dying by suicide –
that is – all of us,
as we are running alongside
giving support, offering hope, worrying,
watching, watching, watching,
hunting very good internet sources,
don’t forget the tambourine.
Hold some ankle-deep-in-mud joy,
not the frivolous kind,
but a long-noted hope-song for everyone.
Be that one who stops to sing
and won’t stop singing
while others are passing over
one more unexpectedly open way.
And, even for those of us who grieve today,
sing, too, this faith–
God finds those who are drowning
and holds them in the promised hands.
(thanks to Eric Anderson for the original poem about Miriam’s song)